On Sunday, August 29, 1993, at about 1205 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-260, N9249P, piloted by Mr. Robert Bell, collided with trees after take off from Seamans Airport, Factoryville, Pennsylvania. The airplane was destroyed. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan had been filed. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot said he held the airplane on the end of the runway until he had increased the engine RPM to two thousand, released the brakes, and added full throttle.
According to the pilot's statement on the NTSB Form 6120.1/2:
...[at] midfield 75 M.P.H. rotate, at 75 feet retract[ed] flaps...lowered the nose, prepared to retract [landing] gear...nose didn't drop but continued to raise, not climbing...
A check of the instruments did not give him an indication of the problem. He said, "...dropped right wing...now close to ground, chopped throttle chose white birch trees to control crash."
Brian Bell, the pilot's son, was in the right seat at the time and said:
...as we rotated the aircraft went into an extremely nose high attitude as it was climbing. Then the right wing dropped and so we would not hit the hangars to our right he [pilot] pulled back on the power and gave left rudder...
The pilot and his son were interviewed by the FAA on August 30, 1993, and the wreckage was examined at the same time. According to the FAA's report:
...the pilot stated that they could not lower the nose of the aircraft after rotation. It was noted...that the stabilator trim tab was approximately 3/4 of an inch below the trailing edge of the stabilator. This would indicate a nose up position. The stabilator trim indicator was just slightly aft of the zero setting...inspected and operated the trim system and it functioned normally...continuity of controls was verified...
In a telephone interview with the NTSB, Investigator-In-Charge, on November 12, 1993, the pilot said that when he observed the wreckage after the accident he noticed that the stabilator trim tab was in the "full nose up position," but could not explain how it got in that position.
According to FAA Inspector, Morgan Brown, Mrs. Karen Seamans, a certified flight instructor, said that when she arrived at the accident site after the accident, she observed,"...the stabilator trim indicator was in the full nose up position...when she looked in the cockpit."