CHI96LA055
CHI96LA055

On December 16, 1995, at 1520 eastern standard time (est), a Bellanca 7ECA, N990WY, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when late into a touch and go from a grass strip, the airplane's engine lost power. The airplane subsequently struck a utility pole, trees and a fence before nosing over and coming to rest in a ditch along the side of a road. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. A flight plan was not on file. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The local flight originated from a private strip located five miles northeast of Mason, Michigan at 1430 est.

The pilot was interviewed by telephone, on January 11 and 12, 1996. The pilot stated that he checked carburetor heat during his before landing check on downwind leg, noting a slight rpm drop. He then turned the carburetor heat off. The pilot said that he planned his pattern so as to touch down fast to practice a two-wheel, touch-and-go landing. The airplane touched down halfway down the strip. When the pilot applied power for takeoff, the engine did not respond. The pilot described the engine's sound as being "like someone putting a hand over the carburetor. It (the engine) was going, but not picking up any rpm." "I advanced the throttle, then pulled it back and put it in." The pilot could not recall if he advanced the throttle smoothly or rapidly. Because the airplane was now two-thirds of the way down the runway, the pilot elected to continue the takeoff. The pilot's personal grass strip has a powerline which crosses over the strip, 175 feet prior to the end of the strip. He decided to go under the powerline before establishing takeoff attitude. As the airplane went under the powerline, the engine responded with full power. It was also at this time that he saw the airplane's left wing strike a utility pole which supported the powerline. That is the last thing the pilot could recall.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the wreckage at the site found the airplane nosed over across a road from the pilot's home strip. In addition to the utility pole, the airplane had struck two trees and a wooden fence before crossing the road and coming to rest. The right wing had separated from the airplane. The left wing was attached to the fuselage and mangled. There was a significant dent in the leading edge of the left wing approximately 24 inches inboard of the wing tip. The fuselage was twisted forward of rear seat. Several fabric tears and twisted tubing was observed. The forward landing gear were bent rearward. The horizontal and vertical stabilizers, elevator and rudder sustained some minor fabric tears. The engine remained attached to the engine mounts and firewall. The propeller had separated from the airplane at the hub and was found resting ten feet in front of the main wreckage. Both blade tips showed significant curling. Six prop strike marks were observed in the road surface along the ground path of the airplane. Flight control continuity was established. A field examination of the engine and engine controls revealed no mechanical anomalies.

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