The pilot reported that he performed the preflight inspection at night and started the airplane, but the Cessna 172 would not move forward as he attempted to taxi from parking to the runway at the airport in Key West, Florida.
He looked out the left window in search of wheel chocks, while his passenger exited the right door and checked the right main landing gear wheel for chocks.
The passenger then moved to the front of the airplane and attempted to remove the chocks from the nose wheel. His right hand was struck by the propeller, causing serious injury.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s and the passenger’s improper decision to have the passenger attempt to move a wheel chock while the propeller was turning, which resulted in a serious injury.
This October 2019 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.