Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Aeronca 7AC, N82787: Accident occurred November 03, 2020 at Elyria Airport (1G1), Lorain County, Ohio

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Aircraft was being hand-propped and cleared chocks and went into a barrier.

Date: 03-NOV-20
Time: 19:00:00Z
Regis#: N82787
Aircraft Make: AERONCA
Aircraft Model: 7AC
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 91
State: OHIO

ELYRIA, Ohio — A man was taken to the hospital Tuesday evening after his own airplane knocked him to the ground in a mishap at the Elyria Airport on Middle Avenue.

The pilot, who has not been named, but is identified in a Lorain County Sheriff's Office news release as a 57-year-old LaGrange man, was fueling the two-seat plane about 5:14 p.m. with chocks under the wheels to keep it in place, said Lorain County Sheriff’s Capt. Daniel Ashdown. No one was in the cockpit.

The aircraft was of the hand-start or “prop-start” variety, requiring the pilot to manually force the propeller to start spinning.

“You physically have to pull the propeller to start it,” Ashdown said. “… When he went to prop-start the plane, it jumped the chocks, striking him, which caused injury.”

Ashdown was not at the airport when the incident happened, but he said it appears the pilot was knocked down by the plane itself and not struck by the propeller.

After it struck the pilot, the aircraft continued moving with no one inside and collided with the fuel tank. There was no fuel spillage from the tank and the plane was stopped by the collision, damaging the right wing.

“It was lucky that the wing actually caught the tank to stop the plane from moving, because who knows how long it would have taxied,” Ashdown said.

A responding deputy was not able to talk to the man before he was transported to University Hospitals-Elyria Medical Center for medical treatment, so the Sheriff’s Office intends to follow up with him.

Because the airplane was not in flight when the mishap happened, the Sheriff's Office classified it as an “incident,” meaning the agency’s report will be forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board for review and the Federal Aviation Administration for informational purposes, Ashdown said.


  1. Airports are lonely places these days.
    I soloed with many early flights in N85510. in the days of old there was always someone to pull the prop thru for you...
    one PIC's experience.
    "There is no regulation banning handpropping an airplane by yourself. Nor would it be considered careless and reckless because a pilot's certificate is not required to do it.
    I used to own an Aeronca Champ that I used to start by myself and it was perfectly safe. My procedure was as follows:
    Airplane remains tied down.
    Fuel valve is turned to the OFF position.
    A Bungee cord is used to restrain the throttle in the closed position.
    After the engine is stabilized in idle, I untie the airplane.
    I crawl into the airplane, stomp on the brakes and pull the chocks using cords leading into the cockpit.
    Turn fuel valve on, and release bungee restraining the throttle.
    It works great, a no-sweat method." s/n Barry

    1. how do u start engine with fuel valve off
      unless u r quick enough to get to copit before carb float bowl empties?

    2. What was the weather that day? How about movement on Flight Aware.? It could show actual location, path and ground speed necessary to jump chocks and run over the starter.

    3. True, tailwind could have contributed to accident.

    4. Definitely caused by a tailwind, or at least attributed to the possible cause of the incident.

  2. A65 will idle 45 seconds with the fuel valve closed.

  3. I had a j3 cub and always chocked it to prop it. One day I was about to go flying and was ready to prop it, when a guy came running from one the hangers waving at me. His name was Eddie Kane, a seasonal crop duster, who also did some charter flying in a DC-3. He was very polite and said that he didn't mean to be intruding, but what I was doing is extremely dangerous! He first told me to always tie the tail and chock it. Then, he went on to show me how to prop it from behind the propeller. Chocking and tail tying is not necessary when propping from behind. You are close enough to reach right in and control the throttle and you have the strut behind you for resistance should the plane start to roll. From that day on, I always propped the cub from behind the prop. Eddie just might have kept me from getting killed!! I'll always be grateful for his advice that day. It was in the summer of 1965 and I was 17 years old.


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