On February 24, 1998, about 0715 central standard time, a Piper PA-32-300, N8SX, registered to a private individual, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed on takeoff from Holly Springs/ Marshall County Airport, Holly Springs, Mississippi. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the private-rated pilot was not injured. The flight was departing at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated he flew N8SX to Holly Springs/Marshall County Airport to visit his father and brother for a few days. He arrived late on the afternoon of February 18, found the FBO closed for the day, so he parked and secured his airplane on their ramp. He returned the next day, requested and watched as N8SX's tip tanks and right main tank were filled, taking on a total of 50.3 gallons. He had resealed the left main fuel cell and wanted that tank dry to "cure" the sealant. On February 23, he had the left main tank fueled with 24.6 gallons in preparation for his trip home early the next morning. Copies of fuelling slips are included in this report under Other Pertinent Forms and Reports.

The pilot stated that immediately after rotation, the engine lost power, and he attempted to land on, "sod between the runway and taxiway," but his momentum carried him beyond the runway environment where he encountered a "two-foot gulley".

An observer at the wreckage site stated the cockpit fuel selector was positioned to the left tip tank detent. The pilot's statement confirms left-tip-tank is the position he had selected. The left tip tank was not compromised and contained about a cup of fuel.

There were no fuel stains under the wings, or on the ramp where the airplane was previously parked. The FBO reports there have been no previous reports of fuel theft from aircraft. The FBO's statements are included in this report under Transcripts of Telephone Communications Pertinent to the Investigation.

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