August 25, 2009, Chandler, Ariz., Cessna 177


At about 1630 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed by fire while standing following unsuccessful attempts to start its engine. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual conditions existed.

The pilot was unsuccessful at his first five attempts to start the hot engine. Before the sixth attempt, the pilot observed smoke from the left engine cowling, followed by fire. An airport operations supervisor stated, after one or two minutes, “…the aircraft engine starter engaged and the engine began to run at a fairly high RPM, well above idle power. The aircraft was not chocked or tied down, but it did not move from the parking spot.” The engine ran for two or three minutes before the fire burned through the left wing, stopping the engine.


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