In the 1985 movie "Commando", John Matrix (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) initiates engine ignition simply by punching the cockpit dials after several failed standard attempts.

Could this ever result in the engines starting in reality?

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    $\begingroup$ My old grandmother used to say: Anything mechanical, give it a good bashin. $\endgroup$ – mins Aug 8 '16 at 17:57

No, punching would not cause engines to start because you'd need to hold the starter button down (or twist the key depending on the airplane) until the engine catches. It's possible that if there was bad wiring on the panel that punching it could make it work again, but that would likely be temporary.

It's just Hollywood.

  • $\begingroup$ Reminds me of "Armageddon" and the russian on the old space-station. But hey, who of us didn't punched a device with a loose connection, at least their is a minimal chance to get it running for some time. The bad side of punching is, over time you could just make the loose connection worse and damage more. $\endgroup$ – Peter Aug 8 '16 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ Armageddon - horrible movie. The rest of that scene in Commando isn't any better, the pilot is taking off but doesn't look like she's going to clear the ships on the other side of the harbor when Matrix suddenly pushes the throttles further forward and they just make it. Like the throttles wouldn't have been already maxed! $\endgroup$ – GdD Aug 8 '16 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ It's Hollywood. I hope the new Star Trek XIII isn't like the last one, my brain still hurts from the unlogical story ):( $\endgroup$ – Peter Aug 8 '16 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ In Star Trek it's 'Illogical'. $\endgroup$ – GdD Aug 8 '16 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ It has its own name - Percussive Maintenence. $\endgroup$ – DJClayworth Aug 8 '16 at 14:50

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