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Spoilers Don't read if you aren't completely frustrated:

After starting the engine you need to adjust the throttle and mixture. Release the breaks as well. (although there isn't much flying mostly uncontrolled tumbling)

but how do you start the plane

Spoiler again with step by step instruction:

  1. Turn on the battery (it's one of the red buttons on the left)
  2. twist the ignition knob to the right. This engages the starter and makes the propeller spin (If you just want too drive the plane for a while and maul some zombies with the propeller you can disengage the brake and steer with the pedals, this is the more fun thing to do actually)
  3. Start saying your prayers to RNGesus (this is mandetory if you want to "win")
  4. very important step pull out the primer and push it back in do it once or twice (if you do that too much the engine won't start, this effect is known as engine flooding and can cause a fire (not moddeled). In this game this is an unrecoverable state)
  5.  set the fuel mixture to rich, basically push in the red ball to the max
  6. push in the throttle (the black ball next to it)
  7. release the breaks if you haven't yet and pray that the physics Kraken has mercy on your soul, because my aerodynamics are completely broken.
  8. perhaps you would like to pull out the throttle a little since  things should have gotten a little out of hand by this step.
  9. if you plan on keeping your electric charge high you can activate the alternator (other red button) to recharge your batteries after the engine has gone up to speed, but I packed in enough charge to run the engine and lights for a few minutes (the zombies will get you before you loose all the electrical charge).
  10. If you manage to rise high enough into the air you will win if not, well it's wherever the physics take you (seriously you will be disappointed by the non puzzle gameplay)

Congratulation you basically experienced an accurate simulation of starting an actual Cessna engine. I wanted to make some achievements that would have given you hints on the necessary steps, by rewarding you for making the correct steps, but I spent way too much time on the mouse over feature.

The other buttons are read hearings and mostly turn on lights and blinkers. They are optional and only consume electric charge.