NTSB Identification: ERA14LA261
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 26, 2014 in Cooperstown, NY
Aircraft: PIPER PA-11, registration: N4550M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On May 26, 2014, about 2010 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-11, N4550M, was substantially damaged when it impacted a pole barn near Cooperstown, New York. The private pilot and the passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight that departed Cooperstown-Westville Airport (K23), Cooperstown, New York. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
In a statement to New York State Police, the pilot reported that after takeoff, he completed a "few" takeoffs and landings, then took a scenic flight in the vicinity of the airport. As he was preparing to land, just north of the airport about 750 feet above the ground, the pilot noticed a "considerable" loss of engine power. As in the past, he applied carburetor heat, but it was not enough to be able to climb the airplane, which was rapidly losing altitude. The pilot decided to land on the road next to the airport, but with no power, the airplane dropped over some trees and impacted a pole barn.
According to the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane came to rest 450 feet west of the centerline of runway 2/20, off the airport property abeam the north end of tee hangars that paralleled the runway, and across the road that also paralleled the runway. The airplane came to rest heading about 125 degrees magnetic.
The left wing leading edge was impact damaged, consistent with hitting a utility pole located on the west side of the road which parallels the runway. About 4 feet above the ground, the pole exhibited damage and paint transfer the same color as the airplane. Left wing damage started just outboard the fuel tank to the tip.
From photographs, there were ground scars from the utility pole to where the airplane came to rest. The airplane came to rest up against the pole barn with the left wing down to the ground, and the right wing up against the barn. The right wing was partially penetrating a corner of the pole barn, with the leading edge outside of the barn wall, and the trailing penetrating the barn wall.
The FAA inspector also noted that the left main landing gear was bent under and aft with the left main wheel and tire assembly broken off the left axel. The carburetor and air box were broken away from the engine and the carburetor heat and throttle cables were separated. The propeller had one blade bent forward slightly, while the opposite blade was bent aft; and both had leading edge tip damage. In addition, there were four ground score marks located between the utility pole and airplane consistent in appearance with propeller strikes.
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