CHI94LA064
CHI94LA064

On January 14, 1994, at 0745 eastern standard time (est), a Piper PA-23-150, N1346P, registered to David Weiss of Dowagiac, Michigan, and piloted by a multi-engine rated private pilot, was substantially damaged when it collided with a snowbank during takeoff roll on runway 27 (4,700' X 100' asphalt covered with three to four inches of snow over packed snow and ice) at the Dowagiac Municipal Airport, Dowagiac, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot and two passengers reported no injuries. The flight was departing Dowagiac, Michigan, at 0745 est.

According to the pilot's written statement on NTSB Form 6120.1/2, "The aircraft was pulling to the left..." after he had advanced the throttles. He stated he tried to correct for the left turning force but was unable to due to the deepening snow on the runway's left side. He said the airplane went through a snowbank on the runway's left side. During an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI), the pilot said that both engines on N1346P were running correctly. He was asked if the left engine had any mechanical problems. The pilot's answer was "no."

The pilot restated his written and spoken statements during a telephone interview. The pilot was asked why he did not abort the takeoff when he became aware of the airplane's movement toward the runway's left side. He said he had no idea why he did not abort.

The on-scene investigation revealed a collapsed nose gear, forward fuselage bulkhead crushing, the forward fuselage internal frame was bent in the area surrounding the landing gear trunnion mount.

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