How To Start A Reciprocating Aircraft Engine (II)

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Pablo Edronkin

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These pilots should be careful and prudent, and get the indicated training before attempting to do something that looks easy, is easy once you get the hand of it but could cause serious accidents if improperly done.

We must also stress that hand propping will hardly work in the case of engines of about 125 HP and over because the required force to turn the prop is too great. Thus, this method in such cases may not be advisable even if it is possible to actually move the propeller by hand because the additional force may cause an imposture or various other errors that could cause an accident.


The correct position to begin touching and manipulating a propeller.
The correct position to begin touching and manipulating a propeller.

Even one person can hand pro and star an engine without an electrical starter, but the method is not considered safe at all. We will describe the basic method that requires two people - the pilot and what we shall call the engine starting director -, but we insist on the fact then if you have never attempted to start an engine by hand, get proper training given by a competent instructor.

Having said so, let's start by assuming the following:

- You have finished your pre-flight check.

- You have secured the parking position by placing chocks on the wheels, getting a fire extinguisher and so on.


Moving and accommodating the prop against the direction of normal engine action.
Moving and accommodating the prop against the direction of normal engine action.

You should not attempt to star any engine - either electrically or manually started - unless these requisites have been duly fulfilled.



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