I've learned from experience to not hand prop with a 3 bladed prop!
I hope you are ok!
I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
Oh yeah just skinned the back of my middle finger. It scared the heck out of me though! The scar is barely noticeable now. (30 years later)
Thanks for the heads up. I have a three blade Warp…very sharp trailing edge.
I’ve read both to wear a glove and not to wear a glove.
I’m considering Kevlar glove? Fillet glove?
I wear mountain biking gloves - snug fit with leather fingers but nothing special.
My metal sensenich is very sharp.
OK to learn from my hand propping incident. When I was a young man I had a dead battery in a 207 at Wales Alaska. (IO520 3 bladed prop) I correctly found a qualified person to sit in the right seat. What I didn't do correctly is communicate with him! I tried propping a couple of times and was moving the blades around for a better angle when the magneto impulse coupling fired and the engine started! Thankfully I was young and still had good reflex's. I was able to move my hands mostly out of the way except the middle finger of my right hand. Obviously I should have had the person in the right seat turn off the mags when I was repositioning the prop.
On 3 bladed props the next blade comes around awfully fast. I haven't propped a big 3 bladed engine since.
There was an accident in Kotzebue not to long after my incident involving a 207, Moon boots and an icy ramp. The guy was decapitated!
I don't think any glove you wear, even Kevlar, is going to stop that prop from cutting through things given the physics involved. The important thing would be to wear a pair which gives you a good "tactile" feel of the prop.
Iím hand propping a three blade WarpÖvery sharp trailing edge. I am considering one of the following glove type. Some folks are against gloves, but Iím leaning towards these two. Dyneema is 15 times stronger than steel and 3 times stronger than Kevlar.
Hand propping is one of those things where we all have our own techniques and most of them are pretty good. The main thing is, that if you do it every day flying a non-electric plane, you learn your own techniques that are safe and work well for you so it's really not a big deal. If you don't do it regularly and are dealing with a dead battery, you need to charge your battery or go find someone that knows how to prop your plane. Just cause you've seen them do it, doesn't mean you know what you're doing or will be safe about it. Gloves, no gloves, first knuckles, no knuckles, swing your foot or not, stand behind the prop or in front are all learned techniques that work best for that person with that plane. I've owned 5 non electric planes so far. With my SC, if the battery is low and won't turn the starter, I have no issue with stepping out and propping it. I also have no issue with propping the bigger 6 cylinder engines and 3 blade props. I've done it many times. But that's because it's something I've been doing for over 35 years. I have a pretty good feel for what's safe and what's not. Over the years, I have had a couple of inadvertent starts when pulling the engine through, so I always use a technique that keeps it from biting me. If you are the one at the prop, you are in charge. End of story. If the pilot doesn't want to listen, then he's on his own.
There are many pilots on this forum or at your local airport that can teach you how to safely hand prop your plane. You can ask them to teach you, then do it periodically to be proficient. Otherwise, you're a hazard to yourself and others if you decide to prop your plane when you have a low battery.
I'm surprised nobody's talked about hand propping a no-electrics plane on floats. That must be a story-rich combination.
Most of my flying has been off the featureless sandbars of the Mississippi River. What's the correct procedure for tying it down out there?
if it won't start off of the primer, the nozzles are coked up.
using the accelerator pump to prime puts a pool of raw gas in the airbox... one backfire & the plane is on fire (seen a couple). if the battery is good & you have a fire, keep turning until it starts or you run out of battery.... then get the extinguisher
never trust a rope to hold the plane. I've seen the rope break (a couple times), and I've also seen the rope pull a giant chunk of concrete out of the ground (and the C180 chew through a couple airplanes). best is to have a pilot behind the stick (never put a non pilot at the controls... when they panic they will generally push the throttle in).
many airports require a qualified pilot at the controls when hand propping... an accident will not be covered by insurance if a rule like that rule is broken (the above C180... 3 planes wanked, the pilot was stuck with all repairs... I fixed one)
never trust the mag switch, I've had 2 start with the switch off
one more... if you have a shower of sparks instead of an impulse.... it will probably work if you disconnect the starter motor. the starter draws the weak battery down so much that nothing works, but it can still be hand propped if there is enough battery left to power the spark unit alone, insulate the starter cable so when you go to "start" it doesn't short to the airframe
Last edited by beezerboy; 05-18-2013 at 12:56 AM.
I always brief to avoid the propeller arc and treat the prop as always potentially live - not because the engine will start spontaneously, but to get staying out of the prop arc into the passenger/student's motor memory. (YouTube is full of videos of pilots caressing props or walking through arcs). For aircraft with electric systems it is also a good idea to call clear prop before the master is switched on. Also no headsets worn when starting (you can hear someone calling not to start that way) or getting in or out of the aircraft. Prop accidents are not that rare, and while not a major contributor to accident stats, they are significant.
I second the part about staying out of the prop arc when the master is switched and will add when ground power is plugged in as well. I have seen the starter engage on both situations. Cessna has a bulletin about that for airplanes that have their "split bus" system (not the same as a 737 -ha ha)