It happened shortly before 6 p.m. CST Thursday at the Nipawin Airport, the RCMP said.
An initial investigation revealed the pilot tried to “prop start” the plane by standing in front and spinning the propeller by hand.
The engine turned over, but before he could get inside the Aeronca Chief two-seater, it began moving forward on the taxiway, gaining enough speed after 10 metres to become airborne.
Police said the pilot was left behind, embarrassed but uninjured.
A little later, the plane crashed.
The Transportation Safety Board was notified but an official told CBC News that aside from noting the incident, it would not be pursuing the investigation any further.
Nipawin is about 270 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.