LAX95LA253
LAX95LA253

On July 6, 1995, at 1314 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-25- 235, N9188T, sustained substantial wing damage during an encounter with soft desert soil in a forced landing near Maricopa, Arizona. The forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power during the takeoff initial climb. The aircraft was owned and operated by Arizona Soaring, Inc., of Maricopa, Arizona, and was engaged in glider-tow operations. The certificated airline transport pilot was not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

In a telephone interview, the pilot reported that he was about 50 feet agl in the takeoff initial climb towing a glider aloft, when he became aware of a loss of power accompanied by a black smoke trailing from the aircraft. The pilot released the glider, but did not have enough altitude or aircraft energy to make a return to runway maneuver. He landed on soft desert soil, and during the rollout, the landing gear collapsed and the left wing was damaged. According to the pilot, a preliminary examination of the engine disclosed heavy sooting of all spark plugs. No external evidence of a catastrophic failure was noted. The pilot said he believes an internal malfunction of the carburetor was responsible for the power loss.

The engine and carburetor were examined by an FAA airworthiness inspector from the Scottsdale, Arizona, Flight Standards District Office. He reported that the carburetor was too badly damaged to make any determination regarding potential discrepancies.

The pilot reported the accident to the Safety Board on July 14, 1995, following determination of the extent of wing structural damage incurred.

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