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Magnetos Still On

PUBLISHED: 12:14 23 June 2011 | UPDATED: 14:05 10 October 2012

The pilot of a Yak 50 had prepared the aircraft for start up prior to taxying to the live side of the airfield at North Weald. Having pulled the propeller through nine blades by hand to check for hydraulic lock, he returned to the cockpit and primed the cylinders with fuel to assist the start procedure.

The pilot of a Yak 50 had prepared the aircraft for start up prior to taxying to the live side of the airfield at North Weald. Having pulled the propeller through nine blades by hand to check for hydraulic lock, he returned to the cockpit and primed the cylinders with fuel to assist the start procedure.

Although he had set the parking brake, he did not check the position of the magneto switch. As he pulled the propeller through compression to 'suck in', the engine fired. He believed he was struck a glancing blow to his right elbow, which knocked him off his feet and, as he fell, he was struck again on the upper right thigh, which threw him to the ground.

When he realised the severity of his injuries, which included a severe open wound, broken femur and slight abrasions to head, he called for help using his mobile phone. He applied a tourniquet to his leg and waited for help. When assistance arrived it was confirmed that the magnetos were on.

The Yak 50/52 aircraft is not fitted with an idle cut off mixture control and therefore the normal operating procedure is to stop the engine by turning off the magnetos. The pilot considered that, although he had many years experience of hand starting aircraft, on this occasion he omitted to check that the magnetos were off before moving the propeller.

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