Well on the 8th September 2006, SK had a little mishap. This is to set the record a little straighter to what
had been reported in the national press.
G-AYSK was one of those rare Luton minors with a continental A65 engine.
On this occassion one of our group members, a not so young chap decided to go flying on what
could only be described as a perfect flying day. Easterly wind around 5-6kts cavok sort of day.
The Luton was wheel out of the hangar, preflight checked, chocked and primed and then
started in the normal fashion, by hand. The engine is then given a little time to warm up, a
nd get the oil flowing around the engine. Power is reduced to idle, or just above to stop it
peetering out, then our intrepid aviator, discards the chocks as he clambers into the cockpit.
Following a radio call, SK gently ambles down the “Bravo” taxiway to “B3” hold. As the pilot positioned the aircraft
into wind for the power check, and checking for idle speed the engine stopped. The pilot was observed by the duty
FISO standing by the aircraft in an attempt to restart the engine. The pilot was wearing rather cumbersome flying
outfit and was wearing a helmet and visor. The consensus is, that when the pilot extracted himself from the cockpit,
he had knocked the throttle open. As the pilot swung the prop, the engine fired up, at a rather higher than expected
rpm, and the aircraft moved away from the pilot and started to accelerate forward. The aircraft was pointing
towards another parked aircraft. The pilot grabbed a strut which spun the luton minor around, and pointed the
aeroplane towards rough ground surrounded by trees and bushes. As the aircraft spun round with the pilot hanging
on to the strut, he lost balance, and fell, loosing his grip. The aircraft pulled away.
Looking at the photograph taken by Alan Mozieny moments before it flicked over onto its back.
The picture shows the wing tip striking the ground, as the tail is rising, I guess the prop struck the ground,
at high rpm, as the tail continued to rise, prop shattered, and the torque from the engine,
contributed to the aeroplane flicking onto its back.
The prop shattered,
Engine Shock loaded,Cowling twisted / buckled,U/c snapped twisted,Crack in bulk head.
Suspect main spar damage, Suspect engine mount damage,re enforcement blocked crackedetc etc.
Mistakes do happen, and the result of this incident, the aerodrome from where SK operated from has made some amendments to the pilots hand book, which gives information on operating procedures regarding hand starting aeroplanes. Just sensible guide from the aerodrome operator.