December 20, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Propeller Strikes Pilot During Engine Priming, Redhill Aerodrome, Surrey

On March 4, 2019, the pilot of a DHC-1 Chipmunk 22 was attempting to start the engine at Redhill Airfield in Surrey, England.

The pilot stated that he was planning on flying the aircraft to Solent Airport, Hampshire, for its annual inspection. After two failed attempts to start the engine, which involved priming the engine by rotating the propeller by hand, the pilot vacated the cockpit for a third time to prime the engine again.

However, when he rotated the propeller, the engine kicked over and struck his hand, causing serious injuries. A doctor and paramedic from the resident air ambulance were quickly in attendance and the pilot was subsequently flown to a specialist trauma hospital, where he remained for 10 days.

What caused the incident? 

It was subsequently discovered that prior to the third prime the pilot had not turned the magnetos OFF; he was not able to explain this omission.

The latest update, November 14, 2019, for this incident is shared here, published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). The Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigates civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the United Kingdom, its overseas territories, and crown dependencies.

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