A PILOT walked away uninjured after his plane careered across a runway and crashed into a hangar.
The 61-year-old, who works for a Stockport-based aerial banner towing company, escaped shaken but unhurt after his aircraft – flying from Blackpool – smashed into a hangar moments after he started the engine.
The crash was so spectacular that the plane, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, was damaged beyond repair and had to be written off.
A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch details the dramatic incident, which took place just after refuelling.
Investigators found the collision happened so quickly the pilot was unable to react and stop the accident from happening at Compton Abbas airfield in Dorset.
The report reads: “After refuelling, the pilot started the engine with the intention of taxiing the aircraft to the parking area.
“Upon starting, the engine went to high power, and the aircraft began to move rapidly forward and collided with a hangar before the pilot could intervene. The pilot was uninjured and was able to vacate the aircraft via the normal exit.”
The 1972 aircraft – owned by Air Adds Ltd of Mynshull House, Churchgate, Stockport – had flown from Blackpool to Dorset.
The plane refuelled and was then scheduled to head to an event in nearby Tolpuddle to tow a banner.
But the aircraft ‘rapidly accelerated’ after the pilot fired up the engine, ‘taking him by surprise’.
The parking brake had been off for re-fuelling but he thought he had reapplied it before starting the engine, the report said.
“When the pilot started the engine the aircraft rapidly accelerated forward and collided with a hangar before he could react,” it added.
“The pilot had previously performed a number of hot starts on this aircraft using the same technique, without any problems.”
The incident happened on July 18 last year. Emergency services attended but the pilot was able to walk away without injury. Both wings were ‘severely damaged’, resulting in fuel spillage and the plane was eventually written off.