The pilot reported that, during a hand propeller start at the airport in Geneseo, N.Y., the tailwheel-equipped Piper J-5A was secured by having the passenger stand in front of the horizontal stabilizer.
As he rotated the propeller with the throttle “cracked,” the engine started, but “it ran fast enough” to break the passenger’s hold.
As the airplane began to move forward, he grabbed onto the lower right-wing strut in an attempt to enter the airplane.
Subsequently, he let go, the left main landing gear ran over his shoulder, and the airplane stuck maintenance equipment.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage.
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the throttle was “cracked a little more than it should have been.”
He added that he did not use wheel chocks before attempting the start.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to properly secure the airplane before a hand propeller start, which resulted in the airplane moving forward and colliding with maintenance equipment.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA560
This September 2017 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.