Friday, October 21, 2005

Always check your tie-downs...

I found this interesting story this morning at Aero-News.Net:

Pilot Hurt By Runaway Plane
Fri, 21 Oct '05
He Was Hand-Propping The Luscombe

It's a danger we all face anytime we try to hand-prop an aircraft -- but this time, the danger was very real for a Paradise, CA, pilot whose plane got away from him.

The 1946 Luscombe was tied down Thursday when pilot Gilbert Ferrera tried to start it by cranking the prop by hand. The plane started alright -- then broke free of one tie-down and started to move in a circle, according to witnesses. Ferrera grabbed the wing, but wasn't able to hang on. He then tried to grab the plane's tail and was knocked to the ground as the Luscombe continued to rotate around the one tied-down wing.

Friend and fellow pilot Dave Harmacek was trying to help. He, too, was knocked flat as he tried to hold onto the runaway plane's wing.

"We was out cold," he told the Chico Enterprise-Record. The Luscombe's other wing broke free of its tie and the aircraft sped over an embankment and down an incline, flipping over in the process. A crane was dispatched late Thursday to retrieve the aircraft.

Ferrera was rushed to a local hospital where he was treated and released. Damage to the classic single-engine aircraft was described as "moderate."


Guess that goes to show even an old '46 aircraft can be strong enough to break a damaged tie-down. Whodathunkit?

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