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There was some excitement at CYSH yesterday. A Cherokee pilot was in front of his aircraft, moving the prop by hand before start (supposedly his aircraft won't start unless the prop is at the right angle). No one was in the aircraft, nor was it chocked. The engine started, the aircraft headed on down the taxiway and eventually hit a hangar door. Apparently an aircraft inside the hangar was damaged as well.

This is the same hangar line were I keep my aircraft. My aircraft is in the second last hangar, down towards the left side of the picture. There are advantages to being far away from the main ramp area.

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  • Any further info? Was a mag not shorted or did he leave it on? Did he not lean the mixture for shut off when he shut down last? Did he prime the engine before turning the prop (shudder)! I'll probably use this example when I tell people to always assume something could go wrong when you move the prop.

  • I don't have any more info than was in the original post I'm afraid. I wasn't at the airport the day of the incident - I was sent the photos and story by someone else. I was out to the airport on Saturday, but there wasn't anyone around who knew much about the incident. The aircraft was still in front of the impacted hangar, but it had been repositioned to be lined up with the pavement.

    It certainly drives home the point that you should do a dead mag check during every shutdown. You also need to be absolutely certain the ignition switches are OFF before turning the prop. If you are hand propping the aircraft, there should be a qualified and well briefed pilot is in the pilot's seat, or the aircraft should be well secured.

    Kevin Horton

    Comment last edited on about 5 years ago by Kevin Horton
  • Small world - I ran into the pilot and an eye-witness today at the Kingston airport. The Pilot was attempting to start the aircraft when it 'hung' on the compression stroke and the starter couldn't turn the engine. He swears that he looked at the mags switch and it was off when he got out of the aircraft. He got out of the airplane to move the prop off the compression and when he did the engine started. That explains how an explosive mixture got into the intake. I also expect he did not pull the mixture to lean since he was only moving the prop "like he'd done a thousand times". Fortunately he was standing behind the prop when he moved it so was not in the way when the engine started. Some lessons to be learned for sure from this. Besides the importance of the live mag check, never turn the prop by hand unless the mixture is at idle cut off (unless you really want the engine to start).

  • Thanks for the additional info. He sure was lucky that no one was hurt.

    The aircraft is still in front of the hangar at Smiths Falls. Hopefully he had hull
    insurance, and he can get it repaired soon.

    Kevin Horton

  • Apparently there is a chance that the main spar is bent. If it is, then combined with the need for an engine overhaul due to the prop strike, the aircraft may be a write off.

  • I was out to the airport this morning, and took a closer look at the aircraft. There is clear
    evidence by the damage on the wing root fairing that both wings flexed back when each
    wing tip hit the hangar door in turn. The right wing, which was the first to hit, looks like it
    might be swept back a bit, judging from the way the wing root fairing and fuselage side
    are buckled near the wing trailing edge. It is less clear whether the left wing is swept
    back, or whether it sprung back in its correct place without any permanent deformation.

    I agree that the aircraft may very well be a write-off.

    Kevin Horton