NYC94LA032
NYC94LA032

On December 4, 1993, at 1430 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N55719, piloted by Mr. George Rankine, of South Thomaston, Maine, made a precautionary landing on Watson Airport, North Haven, Maine. The airplane received substantial damage. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight operating under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot reported he was flying at 1,000 feet when he added power for a climb. In the NTSB Accident Report, he stated:

...as I was climbing to 2500' [feet] before making the sea crossing, a noise started from the engine, a very loud and persistent rattle with some attending vibration...I made an approach to Watson Field, and came in to the nearest end higher and faster than normal to insure reaching the field. As a result the aircraft floated a considerable distance down the field. There was very little wind. I made contact with the grass more than half-way down the field and was unable to stop before the runway end in spite of heaving braking and engine shutdown. The airplane skidded over the left hand side of the runway into a gully.

When interviewed after the accident, the pilot said the airstrip was approximately 2000 feet long and had a turf surface which was wet. He said he landed to the north and the winds were calm. He said that when he saw he was not going to stop on the runway, he intentionally steered the airplane to the left, and went down a 12 foot embankment, where the left wing was bent.

According to FAA Airworthiness Inspector, Mr. Daniel Jockett, of the Portland Flight Standards District Office, no FAA personnel traveled to the scene. Mr Jockett contacted the mechanic who worked on the airplane. In a memo, Mr. Jockett stated:

...The mechanic stated that upon investigation of the aircraft, he found that the exhaust stack for the #1 engine [cylinder] had broken off at the mounting flange. In addition, he stated that he found no other defects with the aircraft that could have caused the engine problem....

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