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On June 26, 1993 at 1225 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250, N7779P, crashed after takeoff from the Hamp Airport, Elwell, Michigan. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the private pilot was fatally injured. No flight plan was filed, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.
The airplane crashed in a field about one-half mile east of the airport it had just departed. A farmer who was plowing the field west of the crash site reported the engine sputtered and quit. The airplane struck a tree and crashed into a farm field.
The airplane struck an oak tree located in the fence line of the west side of a corn field, and crashed in the corn field 66 feet east of the tree.
The flaps were down. The landing gear was down. The mixture was rich. The propeller lever was full forward. The throttle was closed.
There was control continuity from the cockpit control pedestal to the rudder, stabilator, and both ailerons. The nose trim was set one division to the right.
There was no fuel leakage at the crash site. The fuel tanks were dip checked with a ruler. The right main tank was empty, and there was no fuel visible in the tank. The left main tank was one-half full. The right auxiliary tank was one-quarter full. The left auxiliary tank was empty, and there was no fuel visible in the tank. When the carburetor fuel line was disconnected, no fuel ran from the carburetor or the main fuel line. The fuel selector was on the right main tank.
No evidence of preimpact mechanical anomalies were discovered with either the engine or the airplane.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
A toxicological examination was conducted. The results were negative. An autopsy was performed by Paul L. Ginther, M.D., at the Gratiot Community Hospital, Alma, Michigan.
The wreckage was released to Deputy Allen, Gratiot County Sheriff Department.