A Proven Starting method for gasoline Engines

For the benefit of you that may be new to gassers. I'd like to offer you a starting procedure for gasoline engines that's safe and easy.

Timing your Prop for hand-Starting:(see photo at the bottom of the page)
Gasoline engines that will be hand-proped need to have the prop timed at the 2:00 position at the beginning of compression. That way, your hand will have complete control of the detonation portion of the compression cycle. It will also produce maximum starting velocity from your flip. Maximum starting velocity takes place at the 12:00 position, but ignition tales place just before that point. You want the prop well within top velocity after ignition occurs, in order to provide the easiest, most reliable, and safe start.

(1) The aircraft must be restrained by another person securly holding it, or use good quality starting stand. Never attempt to start an aircraft by yourself without GOOD RESTRAINT!

(2) Make sure the throttle is in the IDLE POSITION or a few clicks above!

(3) Use a glove, Chicken-stick, electric starter. NEVER bare-hand start. 


Set the throttle two or three clicks above lowest idle, close the choke, turn ignition on, and flip the prop until the engine fires and dies. Open the choke, and flip it until its running, normally only 2 to 4 flips.

Set the throttle two or 3 clicks above lowest idle, open choke, ignition on, and flip the prop until it fires up. Sometimes you may need to choke the engine slightly. Turn the ignition OFF, close the choke, flip the prop 2 or 3 times, OPEN the choke, turn ignition on, and try starting again.

NEVER hand-prop a gas engine with the throttle set higher than a fast idle! If a gas engine is going to kick-back, it will be when the engine tries to accellerate off idle and the ignition begins to advance. If the fuel supply goes lean (for whatever reason) during this accelleration, it will back-fire violently. This is where you may lose a prop. Historically, gas engines don't back-fire too often. But they can, and will if you are not careful.

PROP FLIPPING: Get in the habit of letting the prop stop completely before you attempt to flip the prop again. All too often people reach into a running prop out of habit. Don't do that.

Always let your engine warm up at idle, to get your engine up to operating temperature before you get throttle happy.

NOTE: I use a welders glove to start my engines. This works very well. You may also use a chicken-stick if you prefer, but never use a bare hand!

hand_start.jpg (88538 bytes)

A Rule of Thumb for ALL airplane engines:
Never stand in front of a prop, or even to the side. The only safe place is behind the aircraft.