On July 13, 1994, at 1415 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA- 46-350P, N800CE, owned and operated by Charles A. Eagle, of Johnston, Iowa, lost power after takeoff at Lancaster, Ohio, and made a forced landing. There was a post crash fire and the airplane was destroyed. The pilot and one passenger received minor injuries. Three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed but not opened. The flight was operated under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On June 24, 1994, maintenance was performed on the airplane for low manifold pressure. The condition was not corrected. The work order stated in part, "...M/P still low at 37.5" pilot elected to fly aircraft...." The airplane was operated by the pilot. According to the pilot additional maintenance on July 5, 1994, failed to correct the problem. The pilot continued to operate the airplane.
In the NTSB Accident Report, the pilot reported the airplane engine would reach 38 inches of manifold pressure. On the accident flight, he reported the takeoff was normal until:
...At close to 400 feet I felt a power loss and noticed the manifold pressure dropping. At this point I felt I had enough power to return to the airport. We entered about a 15 degree bank left turn in an effort to maintain altitude. As the turn was being completed, power went out totally. In this area there were a number of trees; thus we headed for the nearest wide-open area, a bean field...On the way down, the aircraft had an unusual shimmy...the aircraft was on fire upon impact. It skidded over 700 feet and caught the right wing and flipped...There was an opening of approximately half the emergency door exit. We evacuated....
A witness reported the airplane was turning in a shallow bank when:
...the aircraft's left wing suddenly rolled through 70 or 80 degrees of bank with a nose down attitude of 20 degrees. At approximately 75 feet above ground level the nose of the airplane began to come through level flight and the angle of bank had been decreased to about 5 to 10 degrees...The aircraft, before disappearing from my sight was still in a slight left wing down position and the nose of the aircraft was above the horizon....
A teadown of the engine at Textron Lycoming failed to find any evidence of failure or malfunction. The turbochargers were forwarded to Allied Signal. According to their report, "...The teardown and examination of both turbochargers disclosed that both turbochargers appeared capable of normal operation...."
According to the Sea Level/Altitude Performance Curve, the Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A engine would develop approximately 310 horse power at 900 feet MSL, with 38 inches of manifold pressure.
Examination of the Piper PA-46-350P Pilot's Operating Handbook found that all takeoff performance charts were predicated upon 2500 RPM and full throttle. According to the Maximum Manifold Pressure vs Pressure Altitude chart, takeoff power (42 inches) is obtainable to above 20,000 ft. No takeoff performance charts were found for reduced manifold pressure (less than 42 inches).
Using weights supplied by the pilot, and the airplane weight and balance delivery documents, the airplane was computed to have a weight of 4396 lbs at takeoff. The maximum allowable takeoff weight was 4300 lbs.
According to a letter from the Des Moines, Iowa, Flight Standards District Office, the airplane was verbally released for return to service. According to 14 CFR Part 43, a maintenance return to service is required to be written. No evidence of a written release was found.