Pilot Injured After Runaway Hand-Propping


A Pennsylvania pilot is lucky to be alive after his hand-propped vintage airplane spun out of control on the ramp Wednesday morning. WTAE reportedthat the 72-year-old man was hospitalized with multiple injuries, including to his head. Security cameras at the Joseph A. Hardy airport inConnellsvillecaught the accident on video, which showed the 1946 Aeronca Champ circling wildly on the ground before it veered off, struck a truck, then crashed into a hangar door. The owner had just started up the taildragger, but apparently didn’t check that the throttle was closed.

Two other men, including the owner of the truck, were on the ramp and ran towards the wayward aircraft as seen on the video, but were helpless as they had to avoid the plane until it came to a stop. “We were chasing it and it was chasing us,” one of the witnesses told the station. The Champ pilot tried to grab on as it began moving, but “it caught him behind the legs and flipped him and he went down,” he said. They stayed with the injured pilot until an ambulance arrived to take him to a local hospital, the station reported.