CHI98LA322
CHI98LA322

On August 20, 1998, at approximately 0710 central daylight time (cdt), a Fairchild 24R-46A, N28644, sustained substantial damage when on initial takeoff, the airplane was ground-looped. At the time of the accident, the airplane was in the act of being stolen by an unidentified individual or individuals. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was being operated under 14 CFR Part 91. No flight plan was on file. The airplane was discovered at 0710 cdt, on the Scribner State Airfield, Scribner, Nebraska, by the owner, after the accident took place.

In his written statement, the airplane's owner estimated that the total distance the airplane traveled was 40 yards. The owner stated that the unknown person operating the airplane "probably lost control when [the] tailwheel left the runway. Excessive takeoff trim was set, [thus the] tail may have lifted off prematurely."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane was resting upright on runway 17 at Scribner State Airport, and was westward. The airplane's right main landing gear and cabin step were bent upward. The base of the right wing strut, where it attaches to the fuselage, was bent upward. The left main landing gear was bent upward and twisted forward. The bottom left side of the engine cowling was crushed upward and aft. The bottom left forward fuselage, at the firewall, was crushed upward and buckled outward. The bottom of the engine firewall was bent upward. The bottom of the left wing tip was bent upward. The bottom forward fuselage walls showed skin wrinkles beneath and forward of the cabin doors. Both tips of the airplane's wooden propeller were broken off. The remainder of the airplane was undamaged. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies were found with the airplane's engine, engine controls or other airplane systems.

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