AAIB investigation to Cessna F172E Skyhawk, G-ASNW
Operation with towbar attached, Draycot Aerodrome, 27 March 2015.
The pilot reports that he conducted his pre-flight check of the aircraft in the barn where the aircraft is stored. He then pulled the aircraft out of the barn, started the engine, taxied approximately 150 yards to the runway and conducted his before takeoff checks. He then flew two uneventful circuits.
Sometime after landing, the pilot was shown some pieces of metal which had been found on the grass runway; he recognised the metal as having been a part of the aircraft towbar. A subsequent inspection of his aircraft revealed damage to the propeller, consistent with it having struck the towbar.
The pilot considered the most likely reason for him to have inadvertently left the towbar attached to the aircraft was that he conducted the walkaround inspection in the barn, and after pulling the aircraft out was distracted by another task prior to flight.
The pilot’s report highlights the importance of checking around the aircraft immediately before any flight.
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Published: 13 August 2015
Date of occurrence: 27 March 2015