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Hand Propping

It’s Dangerous

Hand propping an airplane may be seen as a nostalgic throwback to the days when airplanes had no electric systems, and by necessity, needed a hand getting started. Make no mistake about it – hand propping is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted after having competent instruction from someone qualified to teach you.

If the first time you attempt to hand prop your airplane is after a weak start attempt and a dead battery, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. The next two videos demonstrate just how much trouble you could get yourself in.

The first video shows an airplane spinning around on its main gear after the hapless pilot set the throttle too high with a first-time passenger on board. He got it started all right, but it didn’t end too well. Here’s a link to the National Transportation Safety Board report on the incident: www.NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=18883&key=0.

This next video shows another out-of-control plane; this aircraft started without anyone at the controls. Hand propping is serious business. Get proper training to ensure you don’t watch your plane take off without you.

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