NYC98LA126
NYC98LA126

On June 10, 1998, about 1145 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-180, N6977P, was substantially damaged when it overran the runway during an aborted takeoff at Taunton Municipal Airport, Taunton, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that was destined for Norwood, Massachusetts. No flight plan had been filed for the flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot reported that he had arrived from Norwood, about 25 minutes earlier, and the airplane was not serviced while at Taunton. Upon completion of their business, the pilot and two passengers boarded the airplane for the return flight.

During the takeoff roll on runway 22, the pilot noticed that the airspeed indicator needle was still at the "0" position. Just before aborting the takeoff, the airspeed indicator needle was bouncing off the "0" indication, but it was not increasing as the airplane was accelerating. The pilot closed the throttle, and applied the brakes to abort the takeoff. The airplane continued off the departure end of the runway, and went down an embankment. The embankment was about 50 feet from the end of the runway, and had a 40-degree down slope. The slope was populated with brush and small trees.

A witness who observed the takeoff roll reported that at mid-field, the airplane appeared slower than normal, and he did not hear a power reduction until the airplane was 3/4 of the way down the runway.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reported that he examined the airplane and accident site. He reported that he did not observe signs of heavy braking until just prior to the airplane departing the end of the runway. The pilot in an interview reported that he used heavy braking.

The pitot tube, which was located under the left wing, was found to be missing. The FAA inspector reported that he walked the taxi route of the airplane and examined the area where the airplane came to rest for the missing pitot tube. The search was unsuccessful, and it could not be located. The FAA reported that they were unable to determine why the pitot tube had separated from the wing.

According to the FAA, the main runway at Taunton, runway 12/30 was closed for repairs and a NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) had been issued. Runway 04/22 was 1,550 feet long, 150 feet wide, and had a turf/gravel surface.

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