Piper PA-28-161 Cherokee Warrior III, G-GFTB and Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, G-BBHY
With the intention of the taxiing the aircraft a short distance to a nearby maintenance facility, the pilot boarded G BBHY and closed the door, leaving the upper door latch unlatched. As the engine was already warm the pilot performed a hot start but, as he was reducing the throttle setting, he noticed that the door had opened. He reported that he “instinctively” let go of the throttle and grabbed the armrest of the door to close it. The aircraft had by this time started to accelerate along the ground. The pilot’s instinct again made him stamp his right foot on the right rudder pedal as if he were braking in a car. This aircraft does not have toe brakes fitted and this action made the aircraft veer to the right into the rear section of G GFTB which was parked and unoccupied. Both aircraft received substantial damage.
The pilot stated that he would normally ensure that the parking brake was on but believed that he either forgot to check this, or that the brake locking mechanism had somehow become disengaged. A subsequent check of the brake system found no faults.