On September 29, 1995, about 1455 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-161, N3203Q, collided with a tree during a forced landing, following the takeoff, at the Rutland Airport, Rutland, Vermont. The airplane was substantially damaged. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The local, personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, the pilot landed at Rutland, and the airplane was refueled. The pilot then started the engine and taxied to runway 13 for departure. During the takeoff, the engine lost power, and the pilot performed a forced landing, during which the airplane impacted a tree and barn.

Additionally, witnesses reported that the engine sounded rough during the takeoff roll, and the airplane did not climb more than 10' above the ground during the initial takeoff climb. One witness stated:

...I heard what sounded like a four cylinder engine running on two or three cylinders. When the sound got closer, I saw that it was coming from an aircraft (Cherokee or similar) departing runway 13. At the departure end of the runway it was only a few feet above the ground and not climbing. It continued on runway heading for less than a mile when it went out of sight....

The FAA Inspector examined the fuel at the airport and in the airplane and found no discrepancies. Additionally, postaccident examination by the FAA Inspector revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction of the engine.

At the time of the accident, the pilot had a total of 80 flight hours.

The pilot was requested by the FAA and the NTSB to submit the NTSB Pilot Operator Aircraft Accident Report, form 6120.1/2. To this date, no such form has been received.

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