Starting airplane engines is a whole topic on Wikipedia.  I did not know this was such an expanded field of expertise, so it appears doodling all day may have it’s benefits after all.  I’ll let my boss know.  Anyway, a pull cord is used for certain motors as best explained:

“…small two-stroke engines with no starting system, for ground testing, a cord is wrapped around the propeller boss and pulled rapidly in conjunction with operating decompressor valves [do not use a snake].” Wikipedia, Aircraft Engine Starting.  (I edited the snake part for clarity).

I’m a fan of the good ole propeller swing myself.  Got to dress the part, though.  And, if you’re a expert – no helmet.  A fun picture below (also swiped from Wikipedia) shows the camaraderie of swingers past.


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