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Handpropping turns out badly for Cessa pilot

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Davenport Municipal Airport personnel temporarily boarded up a window and repaired a column after a single-engine Cessna crashed into the west side of a terminal building late Saturday, according to the Davenport Police Department. (qctimes.com) さらに...

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TXCAVU
http://video.foxnews.com/v/1424744572001/pilot-dies-after-being-struck-by-propeller/?playlist_id=87937&intcmp=obinsite

Don't we learn?
TXCAVU
http://avstop.com/news_january_2012/san_diego_pilot_killed_hand_propping_engine.htm
TXCAVU
http://www.wqad.com/news/wqad-photos-plane-crashes-into-davenport-airport-terminal-20120123,0,7883695.photogallery for more photos
gilgraham
If possible, the most important and often overlooked part of proper technique is to make sure your weight is shifting backwards away from the prop as you pull down. You'll see this in old film footage where they usually kick one leg up and then down and back. This was to ensure weight shift away from the prop should you slip, trip, or fall. Also, just put your fingertips on the back edge, don't wrap half your fingers around the back edge. Engines occasionaly fire and spin backwards.
stickman69
I hand prop a variety of vintage and homebuilt aircraft on a regular basis. In addition to the many great tips posted here, my practice is ALWAYS hand prop from BEHIND the prop. It simply is safer this way and gives you a greater distance between your lower body & the prop disc. In many aircraft, you can also "chock" the right main with your foot for greater stability. The exception to this technique is when propping a pusher, such as the Vari-Eze I once owned.
TXCAVU
Crank from behind the prop...excellent! Thanks.
gilgraham
If done PROPERLY - handpropping is no big deal. I owned an aircraft for 5 years that had no starter (varieze) and started by handpropping quite easily. I also learned that it will restart in flight from a dead stop at about 150 knots while exiting a hammerhead...
Kingair31
Probably didn't want to spend the money on a new battery......another cheapo' thats going to kill or hurt someone.
Kam73
Kam73 0
I work for the company that owns this FBO. I have tried to not comment on this situation because I don't want any possible backlash, but I have decided to provide some further information to keep the speculation from going wild.

The damage to the building and aircraft is pretty substantial. The aircraft started out facing parallel to the building on the ramp. For whatever reason the pilot decided to attempt to hand prop the airplane at about 10:30 on a Saturday night, well after the FBO was closed. As the airplane started up it, for whatever reason, was allowed to have enough power to cross the ramp where it lightly clipped the first structural column for an overhang above the exit. After this impact started the right turn towards the building, the airplane made more solid contact with the second column and knocked down most of the cement cosmetic finishing but leaving the steel beam intact. This impact caused the airplane to careen to the right and into the wall of windows; settling in the position shown in the picture. What you can not see in the picture is that the entire metal framework that holds all of the windows is bent inward towards the seating area, essentially curving that entire wall. The left wing somehow managed to hit the far corner of the wall as well. The airplane is most likely totaled but I am not an expert on something like that.

As far as the conflicting details I will try to stay away from that because I don't know what I should and should not say. I personally do not know why the rental 172 was being hand propped at that time of night. This plane was not rented from us as stated in the article. It was, however, plugged in and chocked by the FBO. Tie down hooks were not available where this plane was parked.
TXCAVU
Thanks, for this is more the real story.
linbb
linbb 0
Thanks for the update I stand corrected on the damage as the steel column does not apear damaged. Also did you really expect the paper to get it right? Saw one at Seattle that became airborne befor it hit some trees on the other side of the tiedown area.
Kam73
Kam73 0
Wow I couldn't imagine one getting airborne accidentally! That had to be a nightmare.

The conflicting details that I mentioned are actually referred to near the end of the article. There is some inconsistencies between the pilots story and the evidence recorded on camera. This could be accidental or intentional but I do not know.
skydivedog180
'According to the release, there are numerous inconsistencies between the evidence at the scene and what Kadlec said happened."

Poor guy, hope he had renters insurance and filled out his Nasa form.
linbb
linbb 0
Not much damage but the story makes one think its bad the collums they say were damaged are just window dressing the metal part apears undamaged but they need the big story. With the way the story was reported I doubt that they can say it doesnt sound right what he said happened.
chicoaggie
Actually looks like it could be quite a bit of damage. It's not easy to see the extent of damages from pictures.
jhakunti
I didn't think it took a riddle grad to know not to handprop without a pilot in the cockpit. I guess it does. Save the telkeetna mountain off airport flyers.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 0
I gotta jump in since you mentioned Riddle, commom sense and experience trumps a $200,000 education...
StymieHo
Lol - Aint that the truth.
STINSONDRIVER
There are three rules for hand-propping an engine: It takes two, tie it down or chock it, DON'T.
jimquinndallas
It looks like snow on the ground in the photos and I cannot help but wonder why someone would take a chance at hand-propping if the ground around the aircraft was slick. Of course I don't know enough to form a completely valid conclusion, but even if the brakes were set on the plane and the throttle was in a low-RPM setting and the wheels were chocked, I would think that the chance of the aircraft sliding across icy ground (not to mention the pilot slipping into the prop) would be high enough to make it a no-go situation. I wouldn't hand-prop a plane, period, because I know my limitations and... I'm afraid to do so. I simply do not need to do so, and I value my fingers, limbs and other body parts too much to take a chance... It's not an option for me. Not even a consideration.
sparkie624
LOL, I have seen this before... Dumb people. Tie the tail down (GOOD) before Hand Propping the plane, and have someone in the plane on the brakes as well.. Idiots born every day.
CTaylor959
How embarasing
zcolescott
...is that a C172RG? If so, who hand-props one of those? He must've had that throttle a ways open for it to get away from him, run through that snow couple inches of snow, and hit the building that hard. I think more will come out here.
TXCAVU
Cessna Skyhawk (piston-single) (C172/G
WALLACE24
Wonder what the inconsistancies were? Outcome is the same - plane thru window.
n111ma
n111ma 0
This dumb-ass is lucky he didn't hurt somebody....or worse! Fortunately, the building can be repaired!
Falconus
Falconus 0
My instructor said three things about handpropping an airplane. 1. Have a qualified pilot in the aircraft (common sense, and also in the regs, I believe). 2. Don't handprop and airplane without proper instruction on how to do so. 3. Don't ever handprop a tricycle-gear airplane, lest you lean forward into the propeller. This guy is quite lucky that everything that he broke can be replaced. Also, there is a reason why they have starters on these things... Wonder if it was busted, or if the battery was out of juice.
linbb
linbb 0
Nothing in the regs about hand proping an airplane common sense dictates what to do, where I used to work once you were hired the boss told you the rules and one was not hand propping at all or you were gone. At that time he would get up, drop his pants and point to his leg which had a large gash that had been repaired some years earlier and was from an incident with the mags off and throttle closed and the engine started and ran.
TXCAVU
Exactly for given status of the FBO(closed)and the time of day (late evening)...the pilot should have retired at the local motel and continued the next day. Stunts like this maime and kill each year.
StymieHo
I'll bet on the dead battery and get-home-itus.
tgchurchman
Ouch my aching insurance!! I learned to fly back 40 years ago in a C150 at a regular flight training center and half way into the course my instructor taught me the proper way to hand prop the aircraft. I have never since tried that and have owned a '73 C-150 for many years until we bought the Piper Arrow which hand propping is not going to happen and during that time the battery was down twice on the C-150 and I am not ashamed to say even though I had a trained pilot with me the memory of how close you are to the prop even in a C-150 I called the FBO for help with a cart. I trusted my ability but it's the "you never know" demon trotting around airports that stopped me as the difference in departure time was only a few minutes.

If I were stranded so far away from help with a dead battery I don't know and glad I didn't have to make the decision but I did appreciate the training on how to do a hand prop if it was a no other choice situation as in the schools of the 70's other pilot friends never received any traing at all and that can lead to a terrible end. Later on the best part about jets are you don't have to hand prop anything and not too many issues past a "hung start event" (other than waiting forever for the the fans to finally stop turning for another try.)
Rgoss
Bob Goss 0
When I took for my Certified Flight Instructor practical exam I failed on only one question posed by the FAA Examiner: "When is it allowable to hand prop an airplane?" After thinking of all the safety problems and hazards I gave a lame answer to which he replied, "You should NEVER hand prop an aircraft." I have to admit, on below zero days when teaching near Chicago I have propped an aircraft but hated doing it every time and swore I would never do it again!

[This poster has been suspended.]

Rgoss
Bob Goss 0
When I was a CFI at RFD another CFI came around taking up a collection for CFI's family. Appparently, he was propping for a student and got his tie caught in the prop. Well, you can imagine the result.

[This poster has been suspended.]

scotthmason
So that's why a pilot I know said to never even touch the prop.
Fullagas
Fullagas 0
I was expecting at least a video and the usual 4 or 5 TAFs/METARs and a similar number of opinions... And 'hanger', really?
NimitzFan
This was on an episode of the Discovery Channel show "Mythbusters." Until I saw the show, it never occurred to me that anyone did it that way anymore.
n17987
had a renter try to hand prop my Cessna 182rg after unsuccessfully trying the normal way, problem was that he left the throttle pushed all the way in. One turn of the 82" prop and it started up, just about killed him but as he ran away; my bird ran off and by a falcon jet and a fuel truck before crossing the active runway, climbing a hill, turning upside down and rolling down a hill. May she still rest in peace. Mr. Renter, i know where you live. :(
WALLACE24
This used to be a fairly common accident 30 or so years ago when handpropping wasn't taboo. I live on Ky Lake and there is a small pvt. strip called Pirates Cove. Some years back an old gent and an equally old airplane were involved in this procedure. The old guy got away from the prop but the plane actually took off and hit the trees about 50' up. I don't even like to move a prop with the mags and mixture off.
Fullagas
Fullagas 0
The only problem with hand-propping is when someone doesn't know what they're doing. This accident may have been caused by 'heads-down' taxiing/inattention.
Hand-propped a GTSIO-520 on a C421 years ago. Starter failed in Greenland, ferry flight to Denmark on a Sunday. Very lucky it started!
WALLACE24
Even worse than a handpropping mistake would be a taxiing accident of this magnitude.
tgchurchman
Hi James,
Flying magazine featured a taxi accident when a beautiful I believe either C-195 or Beech Staggerwing had a bad day. A C-210 was on the run-up pad and waiting his turn behind two others and noticed the aircraft coming toward him but believed he was in sight. It didn't and inpacted the 210 behind seat 4 right side and the 210 pilot couldn't move as all he could do is hit the aircraft in front of him. It happened so fast and he was being watched over from above as he had no passengers so no injuries. The other pilot said he saw 3 aircraft but not the 210. The pilot of the 210 said nothing looked more ominous than that huge prop coming not stopping. I can imagine this was not the first time for this kind of accident but with the ongoing push on runway infrigment. I wondered why no ground controller warning but I have to guess there was no time.
cousinbrucie72
We had the same kind of idiot here at my home airport. The aircraft hit a hanger, luckily the hand propper wasn't killed. The faa really needs to look into these pilots. There is something mentally wrong in this picture.
dmaccarter
Hand propping an empty airplane is prima facie evidence of a cranial rectal inversion. Even with someone who knows what they are doing both in the airplane and on the prop, it is a skill requiring knowledge, understanding and a bit of practice. Too bad too! Another of our precious and disappearing fleet of aircraft may be down for the count.
PINTOKID
wow what a way to learn smoe thing every one should have knowed all ready
WigzellRM
Looks like a comedy of errors. Lucky no one was hurt though.
tgchurchman
I will add a slight bit of humor to a very serious subject (my comment on handpropping is below near the bottom)

This is kind of a different prop story. On a cross country to visit a friend the small airport was nice and well kept. I called my friend to pick me up and while waiting like every one of you out there started peeking into any aircraft that didn't have the silver covering the window. I came up on a similar PA28R200 like ours and noticed a mid-sized dog curled up on the cooling tarmac and I called to him and he loped over. Loped is the key word, he had three legs. My friend told me when he got there it had lost a leg in a prop start and as it was a mascot of sorts to the hanger tale's group they had saved him. They said he would still yelp when somebody called clear but I guess he was more alert as I never heard a sound when I called out but it was the most vivid example of the worst nightmare always in the back of my mind and that was not seeing a young child that wandered away from the family looking a planes and my calling clear would mean nothing of course and I would never ever want to fly again. Since that day I made extra, extra sure nothing was near the prop even after calling clear. This is a true story I have heard jokes similar but this was real and added to my strong belief nothing can be left to chance or being in a hurry. Sorry for the long letter just thought it was interesting.
TXCAVU
How did a dog get hit by a prop? Did the human have the dog standing nexy to the prop and startle the animal?
tgchurchman
As it was explained to me it was when a person who knew him well called him it was coming from right to left, this was in a C182 and all that have flown that aircraft know the panel height is a bit high even when the seat is set up high so over the nose directly in front is poor when just sitting which is often a bit tail low. The pilot did say clear and as it kicked it caught the left back leg. I only met the mascot a year or so after the incident and the story is 2nd hand but I saw the injury as healed and it was not from being born with 3 legs it had been chopped as it was below the mid-part of the leg, no paw just a nice stitch job that the vet who had a plane hangered there did pro bono. That is all I know!

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