A BIZARRE sequence of events led to a "shunt" involving three aircraft at a North Yorkshire airfield, according to an official accident report.

The mishap occurred after a pilot tried to "jump start" his plane - but the aircraft ended up jumping the chocks he had placed by the wheels and set off towards a hangar.

It collided nose-to-nose with another aircraft, which in turn was pushed into a third aeroplane.

All three aircraft were damaged, though the two parked planes suffered only minor damage.

No one was injured in the incident, at the airfield at Sherburn-in Elmet.

The unhappy episode is revealed in a report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which tells how a 61-year-old unnamed pilot went to the airfield on the evening of July 10 this year, intending to fly his Pitts S-1C single-engined biplane.

When he checked the aircraft he found the battery was flat.

"He decided that he would start the engine using jump leads, and after chocking the aircraft wheels he parked his car alongside the aircraft and connected the car battery to the aircraft battery.

"He then climbed back into the aircraft and started the engine. After adjusting the throttle to a low power setting, he climbed back out to disconnect the jump leads.

"Whilst he was doing this, the aircraft jumped the chocks and started to move towards the hangar," the report says.

"The pilot was unable to stop the aircraft and it collided nose-to-nose with a Zlin aircraft parked inside the hangar, which in turn was pushed into an Extra aircraft.

"The Zlin suffered damage to its propeller and cowling and to the top of one elevator where it had struck the Extra. The Extra suffered minor damage to its engine cowling."

The Pitts S-1C had damage to its propeller tips, engine cowling, and the leading edge of its top left wing.

The AAIB report says the pilot believed the accident was due to his using chocks of insufficient size, and possibly setting the engine speed too high

"He also felt that, with hindsight, he should have sought assistance before attempting this procedure," it concludes.

Updated: 11:05 Monday, October 20, 2003