How To Start A Reciprocating Aircraft Engine (V)

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Pablo Edronkin

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The director should be wearing comfortable clothes at the time, with no chains or jewellery hanging, no rings or anything else that could get hit, stuck in or sucked by the propeller. Balance and equilibrium are fundamental during this process and he will have to stand about half an arm's length from the prop, in front of it and facing the cockpit. In this way he will be able to step back safely as he attempts to start the prop by grasping a blade with both his hands and moving them energetically downwards and outwards.


Stepping back after one kick.
Stepping back after one kick.

Once he has cycled the engine a few times with the magnetos off, he will accommodate the blade that he will actually grab for starting the engine, placing it in a position such as he will be able to fetch it with his arms up, but not so high as to be uncomfortable. Then he will say:

- "Both magnetos on, one fourth, two injections, stick back."

This means that he is asking the pilot to turn the magnetos to the "Both position" and open the throttle one fourth of its arc or span. From this moment on the engine is theoretically able to start at any moment. Asking for two injections means that he wants the pilot to use the primer twice; it is normal to prime the engine once to six times.


This is the way to use the fire extinguisher insde the engine's cowl in the event of an emergency.
This is the way to use the fire extinguisher insde the engine's cowl in the event of an emergency.

So after placing the magneto key in the "Both" position (in these engines, there is no actual "Start" position since there is no electrical starter). The stick should be held back in the case of airplanes with conventional gear (taildraggers) so that in the even to an accidental movement or acceleration of the engine of the plane control over it will be held and the tail will not stand up.



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