Why hand-propping an aircraft Solo is a very bad idea.
This story came to me via the typical mass email, I belive it originated with an A&P in Florida.
It started out at the Self service Avgas pump.

A guy fueled his Cherokee, but knew he had a dead battery. So he pushed the plane back, hopped in, primed the engine, left the throttle half open, mags on, and got back out.

Gave the prop a swift swing, and the engine fired right up. Right up to around 1800 rpm I guess.

The plane took off, straight for the fuel farm.

Fortunately, the fuel farm is protected by concrete filled steels posts, designed expressly for this sort of thing.

The prop hit one of these posts.

Here's what happened next:

  • Prop hit the post.
  • On impact the crankshaft is sheared right off the engine
  • sending the prop, hub and spinner flying like you only see in cartoons,
  • landing on the roof of a hangar, about 150 yards away.

Here it is...

Aftermath...

And no, this did not buff right out. Plane was sold for $400 on the spot, was parted out, and sold on eBay. With today's medical expertise and knowledge, we can fix a lot of things. Stupid is not one of them. Guy had no insurance, and was under scrutiny of the FAA for running another plane out of fuel, and landing it on highway 41 in Ft Myers I believe. He should just quit flying all together.