This is an excerpt from a report made to the Aviation Safety Reporting System. The narrative is written by the pilot, rather than FAA or NTSB officials. To maintain anonymity, many details, such as aircraft model or airport, are often scrubbed from the reports.
So it was a normal flight starting at ZZZ1, flew to ZZZ2, ZZZ3, and then to ZZZ to drop off a friend really quick.
I shut the engine down and let my friend out near the terminal side of the airport. I them attempted to start back up to head for ZZZ1.
I turn the master switch on, mixture full, throttle a little opened, cranked the engine for 3 or 4 seconds. Plane didn’t start.
I thought it was a flooded engine so I did the flooded engine start. Pump off, mixture full out, and full throttle then I cranked again 3 or 4 seconds. It did not start.
I started to text my flight instructor to help me start the plane. In the middle I started smelling 100LL or the exhaust, which got worse. I sniffed out the side of the plane, started to smell plastic smoke, and thought it was weird, looked out the front and started seeing smoke come from the engine.
I did not think to start cranking the engine but I dropped everything and got out of the plane. I saw a raging fire from the engine. I grabbed the fire extinguisher from under the co-pilot seat and tried to put it out but that did not work so I sprinted to the terminal to get the airport manager. He came out to help put the fire out.
We assessed what happened. The battery didn’t go out and the mags and master were off, so we came to a conclusion that there was a battery short and there was an electrical fire, but that was just me, the airport manager, a flight instructor and his student, and the fuel guy.
I gave a report to airport ops and that has been sent in awaiting approval. I then called my flight instructor and told him what happened and I just waited by the plane till he got there.
I left the plane’s battery running because I couldn’t shut it down.
Primary Problem: Aircraft