The pilot attempted to hand-prop the Aeronca 7AC’s engine without success.
He turned off the magneto switch and advanced the throttle to between ½ to ¾ travel and then turned the propeller backwards five or six times to clear the cylinders.
He returned to the cockpit and turned the magneto switch back to the on position, but did not put the throttle back to idle. He hand-propped the airplane a second time and the engine started.
The engine’s throttle setting allowed the airplane to move forward over the wheel chocks and the airplane hit the pilot.
A passenger was still in the airplane as it collided with a hangar at the airport in Ankeny, Iowa, resulting in substantial damage to the airplane’s firewall and fuselage.
The pilot was seriously injured. The passenger was not injured.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s improper starting procedure, which allowed the airplane to move forward over the wheel chocks and impact him and a hangar when he subsequently hand propped the engine.
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This March 2020 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.