FTW94LA005
FTW94LA005

On October 5, 1993, at 1230 mountain daylight time, N9317J, a Piper PA-28-180C, collided with terrain shortly after taking off from Coronado Airport, Albuquerque, New Mexico. One passenger was seriously injured, but the private pilot and two other passengers received only injuries. The airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time; no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight.

The following is based on the submitted Pilot/Operator Report (6120.1/2). The airplane was fueled to capacity, and three passengers and baggage were loaded for a planned flight to Altus, Oklahoma. Because the wind was from the southwest at seven knots, the pilot took off on runway 17. The engine began running rough at an altitude of approximately 400 feet, so he adjusted the mixture slightly to the rich position, and the engine ran smoother. He turned crosswind and at an altitude of about 600 to 700 feet, the engine began to run rough again so he adjusted the mixture control to full rich. A check of the magnetos, fuel selector, fuel pressure, and oil pressure revealed everything was normal; however the engine lost power and he made a forced landing to an open field. Following the landing the airplane began to burn so all the occupants evacuated the airplane. The airplane was consumed by fire.

One witness at the airport told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector they saw the "airplane make a left turn, stall, and impact the ground." Another witness, who is a commercial and instrument rated pilot, submitted a detailed statement in which he noted "the aircraft pitched up and down and rolled into a sharply descending left turn. It appeared that it had stalled...The engine was operating as I could hear it developing power." The pilot originally told the FAA inspector that "the nose pitched up, the wings wiggled, and the aircraft stalled." When questioned later about the engine roughness, the pilot stated he could "feel the roughness through the rudder pedals."

Post-accident engine examination by FAA inspectors failed to disclose any anomalies. According to the pilot, fuel samples taken from three sump drains on the airplane 30 minutes after it was refueled contained no contaminants.

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