One dead-calm day in Sydney last week, Student Pilot Anthony Thrower, practicing take-offs and landings at Bankstown airport, stalled the engine of his light Auster plane a few feet from the ground, but made the landing safely, brakes on—he thought. Deciding to start his engine unaided, he advanced the throttle, jumped out of the cockpit and swung the prop. To his surprise, as the engine started, the plane began to move. Thrower grabbed a wing strut, but was unable to hold the plane; it roared downfield, took off and began circling the airport at a height of 15 ft....

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