Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
I think the type of aircraft is irrelevant, it did give the Farmer a good headline. However his points on airmanship are very valid but that can happen at anytime.

I saw a kitfox doing something dumb and dangerous at the weekend. Does this mean that all Kitfox pilots should be branded as idiots,!!,! Of course it does not, I do find a tar them with the same brush amusing.

There can be no sympathy for arrogant pilots it’s not the environment. However increasingly across the spectrum of aviation it seems to be an increasing trend.

For the person who wondered if it was at Waltham I doubt it for many reasons, but I am sure the Farmer will enlighten us.
Flyin'Dutch' liked this
Slightly more generous view from me.

I suspect it has always been that way, some good, some bad.

I ripped the side wall on my car tyre (dont tell me, these low profiles are all well and good but not on our roads), pulled over, and had two cars stop within no time asking if they could help.
Flyin'Dutch' liked this
I like to think that if I saw someone struggling with their aircraft (a wing in a hedge or whatever) I would go and help at the earliest reasonable opportunity. I might not shut down on a taxiway and do it immediately, but having gone round the corner and parked up I would certainly come trotting back round to help.

With the majority of my flying these days being in a hand-start vintage type, I am somewhat appreciative of wishing to avoid an unplanned shutdown and restart.

I've never noticed any particular arrogance or sense of entitlement from those in warbirds wearing flying suits, but then equally I don't hold them in any special esteem because of their aircraft/clothing. They are no more or less worthy of respect than the chap with his microlight stuck in the hedge.
Flyin'Dutch', patowalker, JAFO and 3 others liked this
I fully understand the frustration of The Farmer; a lot of addiional impression will have been gleaned by him by being present there.

Alas inconsiderate behaviour is not something new, I have at times been on the receiving end of prop wash and helicopter downwash, inconsiderated parking and general numptiness for many decades.

I am always grateful that encounters with those kind of people are limited in time and I don't have to share my life, aeroplane or flying places with them on a more long term basis.
Always amuses me when you get an airline pilot visiting our club who feels "entitled", when they want everyone to listen to whatever story they think shows them in the best light that day.
All one of our (excellent and humble) instructors has to say is "well when I displayed the Lightning...". Said instructor, after RAF and a test pilot instructor, was chief test pilot for Bae and has enjoyed flying everything from model aircraft and microlights to fast jets and airliners while teaching student PPLs as a hobby. He can "one up" pretty much any flying story, but only does so when someone else is being a pillock.
Mind you is it just me, but is this symptomatic of some parrts of society and comes from the top down.

I have recently had some unfortunate dealings with one of our major supermarket chains. They decided to take the particular matter ro Court, even though I told them they would "lose". Of course they did, and worse, had costs awarded against them, almost unheard of in the small claims process.

They managed to spend more than six months doing their best to not reply to correspondence, and then, when they did, were unhelpful and unconstructive.

You would think a lesson learnt, but they are proceeding in the same way in terms of resolving the unresolved element of the matter.

So, my point is, it comes from the top down.

What ever happened to at least having a reasonable chat with the person, pulling over to ask if all is well and there is anything I can do. I appreciate also unfortunately you sometimes get a less than helpful response, but surely at least start by treating everyone else as you would hope yourself to be treated? Unfortunately I think there are those in society who start out being hostile and unhelpful as their go to solution to any problem, and this filters down throught.
Flyin'Dutch', T6Harvard liked this
By Groundlooper
When I read the 'Farmers' original post, I anticipated the ending being "the helpful Yak driver re-positioned, wound the engine up, and prop blasting the hedge with sufficiently force so the stuck wing moved away from the obstruction (or maybe over it)' Sorted!!!
User avatar
By MichaelP
defcribed wrote:@MichaelP It's perfectly understandable, regardless of your instructor status or undoubted experience, that someone hand-starting an aircraft may not want your help.

We do indeed tend to have our own way, each slightly different but each doing it the same way each time. To stay safe we like to concentrate on the task and not vary a routine that we know works. The last thing we want is to be worrying about what a helpful stranger who thinks they know better might suddenly do.

Now many (usually those who don't do it much) will say that you should never do it alone. Fine, that's a point of view, but it does greatly limit your options. Myself, I feel far safer doing it alone than being 'assisted' by a stranger. It's not too bad if the stranger is passive and does what you tell him to, but it gets positively terrifying when they start trying to direct proceedings.

Also, sometimes when warm they're impossible to start without a decent amount of throttle on. I'll wager he knew exactly what was happening and disaster was nowhere near as close as you thought.

Please don't be offended if your offer to 'help' results in a polite "no thank you". Frankly, if I want someone to stand in front of the tailplane for an extra safety factor then I'd rather someone who knows nothing about aeroplanes and therefore won't be tempted to offer me advice while I'm swinging the prop.

I’m sorry but I totally disagree with this.

Yes I have years of experience in flying, and I have seen the unfortunate consequences of the mistakes of others swinging their own propellers, doing it their way (which is fine) but then one day missing something, and not because they were interrupted.

On Sunday the chap had just had his aeroplane delivered.
It was at the pumps with plastic chocks under the wheels, and it was on concrete.
He had been told to open the throttle a bit with a hot engine.
When the engine started the aeroplane ran forward, and I would have preferred to have been in front of the tailplane, and not the wing.
I held the aeroplane as the pilot went around and quickly grabbed the throttle.

If I was not there the outcome would have been nasty.

NO ONE should swing a live engine without someone in the cockpit. That’s a rule!
At the very least you need someone to prevent the aeroplane moving should a problem occur.

I have stood by the tailplane many times, without offering any advice to the all knowing pilot.
And many times, I have eventually done the swinging for the pilot.
I did it for Mick W a couple of weeks ago...
It’s plain stupid to do something like swing a propeller when there’s help available from ones fellow aviators.
Stuck on a lonely strip is one thing, but at a fly-in or by the pumps solicit the help that is available for everyone’s safety.
User avatar
By MichaelP
From the CAA:
a) Know where to find and how to use the aircraft’s fire extinguisher, as well as the location of any others in the vicinity.
b) Never attempt to hand swing a propeller (or allow anyone else to swing your propeller) unless you know the proper, safe procedure for your aircraft and situation, and there is a suitably briefed person at the controls, the brakes are ON and/or the wheels are chocked. Check that the area behind the aircraft is clear

Refusing the help of competent people when they are available when hand starting an aircraft engine is the same as not offering help to your fellow aviators when they have a problem.

Bad aviators refuse help when such help enhances the safety of everyone.

Standing by the tailplane does two things.
1. Helps prevent the aeroplane running forward.
2. Helps prevent the aircraft nosing over on its chocks.

I have never ever refused the help of others when starting an engine by hand, and if someone competent is there I have always asked that person to be close to the throttle and mag switches just in case.

The whole reason I mentioned this was the close call at the pumps on Sunday. The owner was starting his engine for the first time, the aeroplane was new to him, and he had been told to open the throttle a bit to start it hot!

If you are not concerned with enhanced safety when it is available, I do not want to share an airfield with you.
MichaelP wrote:NO ONE should swing a live engine without someone in the cockpit. That’s a rule!
At the very least you need someone to prevent the aeroplane moving should a problem occur.

That's a rule is it?
Well here is a rather poor scan of an illustration in the original manufacturer's Flight Manual for my aircraft.

I know, I know, you were talking about aeroplanes with more than just the pilot's seat but it was your absolutism that drew this response.

And just to elaborate, doing it as shown has the advantages that I am standing in the way of the aircraft moving forward, I have my hand on the throttle should action be required and by moving my right hand about half a metre to starboard I can kill the magneto switch!

I know pilots of Cubs who do similar but from the other side for all the same reasons and they, as you know, have more than one seat. So it may be a rule for you but it's not a rule for everyone and for very good reasons.
Flyin'Dutch', nallen, AndyR and 3 others liked this
@MichaelP It may be your rule but it is not mine. We can disagree and that's fine, but I take issue with your posts which (by inference) variously describe me as 'plain stupid' and a 'bad aviator'. It is also quite condescending of you to suggest that I might be in need of education around why having someone on the tailplane helps - this is the school of the bleedin' obvious.

It is not personal, but I do not know you, do not have an established way of working with you and therefore do not want your help with hand-swinging my prop. Your experience and knowledge is irrelevant, but your continued insistence that you know best only reinforces my position that I don't want your help.

I almost never swing the prop with someone sat at the controls. Because of this, I know that the throttle and mag switch are where I left them and not where someone decides to move them to in a moment of inspiration. I don't pull through after someone else tells me that a switch I cannot see is off, I pull through with the key fob held between my teeth thus the keys in sight. I also don't swing the prop anywhere near the fuel pumps, on hard surfaces if I can possibly avoid it, or where the aircraft is not pointing in a safe direction.

My system is simple, effective and safe. Chocks in, aircraft on grass, tailwheel sideways. If I have a passenger or someone else (that I know) volunteers their help then I will ask them to stand in front of the tailplane but I also ask them not to talk to me during the procedure. The greatest risk of an accident happening is distraction or someone doing something unexpected. Your system (what you believe is best, but what you'd probably describe as 'the right way') guards no more against forgetfulness or missing something than any other. I don't even allow my girlfriend (my usual passenger) to sit at the controls with her feet on the brakes, because once I do that it's a short step to asking her for a bit more throttle or taking her word on the status of the mags. I don't take anyone's word, I look for myself.

If you insist on interfering where it isn't wanted then I'm afraid I must return your compliment and state that I don't wish to share an airfield with you. If you've ever wondered why the hand-starters you offer your help to seem to have a bit of an attitude, it's probably because they wish you'd sod off and leave them to concentrate on staying safe and getting the job done.
rf3flyer, helicopterdcr liked this
User avatar
By MichaelP
The Fournier is an exception, and even the Cub with a swing from the back side of the propeller and access to the mags and throttle is reasonable.

In Tiger Club days solo swinging of the Fournier RF4D was rare. There was almost always someone there to swing the prop.

Then there was the day the A61 Terrier failed to start.
So the pilot got out, and set the throttle full open to blow it out.
He touched the prop, click, and the Gipsy fired up at full throttle.
The pilot grabbed the right struts which prevented the aeroplane running into the Jodel parked in line ahead.
The Terrier swung right and headed towards the crowd in front of the hangar. They scattered.
The Terrier smashed a Turbulent and threw its remnants into a Beta, it swung further right into the left wing of the Mew Gull, which was being fuelled, and chewed into its wing.

Don’t tell me that what I write in the name of SAFETY is wrong.
I’ve seen when it goes wrong.

So let’s ask readers of this forum what they think.

You have arrived and parked your aeroplane at a fly in, and someone decides to swing the propeller of an aircraft with no-one in the cockpit, and no one to restrain it.
Are you happy for someone to do this?
User avatar
By romille
In a similar way to @defcribed I prefer to start without the help or interference of others who might distract me or pass me misleading information. I have a system that works and it means that I know the state of the mags, fuel tap and the throttle before I put a hand on the propeller. It is worth noting that I always tie the tail wheel down and insert chocks at the start of my procedure.
rf3flyer liked this