ATL95LA045
ATL95LA045

On January 25, 1994, about 1710 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-32R-300, overran the departure end of the runway at the Mountain Air Country Club Airport, Burnsville, North Carolina. The airplane was operated by Peach State Aviation under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. The business flight was conducted in visual meteorological conditions. There were serious injuries to the private pilot and his passenger. The airplane was substantially damaged. There was no flight plan filed for this flight, nor was the aircraft in radar or radio contact with any Air Traffic Control facility. Origination of the flight was Chamblee, Georgia, at 1608 on the same day.

The airport manager witnessed the accident. He reported that the pilot had made prior landing arrangements at the private, 4,432 foot elevation, 2,900 foot long airstrip. Salt had been applied to morning ice patches and the runway was dry at the time of the attempted landing. According to the airport manager, there were very strong winds from the northwest with gusts in excess of 25 knots. When the pilot reported that he was approaching to land runway 32, Mountain Country Club Airport Unicom advised the pilot to execute a flyby so that he may judge the gusty winds before he attempted to land. The pilot conducted a flyby with the gear down. During the go-around, the pilot retracted the gear and then continued in the airport pattern to attempt a full stop landing on runway 32. While the airplane was on final approach to runway 32, the airport manager noted that the airplane's landing gear was not extended.

According to the pilot, he realized that he had not lowered the landing gear just as the propellers struck the runway. The radio call to warn the pilot was made about the time the airplane touched down. At this time, the pilot added power in attempt to execute a go-around. The pilot stated that he then noted a strong engine vibration and elected to reduce the power and attempt a gear up landing. Skid marks were observed on the runway about 500 feet from the departure end.

The airport manager stated that the airplane continued off the end of the runway, and down a steep embankment. As aircraft descended approximately 75 feet below the end of the runway, the pilot attempted to add right rudder to align the aircraft with an access road. The nose of the aircraft then struck a tree on the right side of the road. This dislodged the engine from the engine mounts. The fuselage then spun approximately 270 degrees to the right and came to rest on the right side of the road. The pilot stated that he had forgotten to put the gear down prior to landing.

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