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On December 13, 1999, about 1504 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-32RT-300T, N21312, registered to a private individual, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed on takeoff in the vicinity of Hollywood, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a VFR flight plan was filed. The airplane received substantial damage and the private-rated pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.
According to the pilot, he departed from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's runway 27L, abeam of "E" taxiway intersection, and lifted off at the 9R numbers. (The distance remaining for takeoff from "E" intersection is 4,000 feet vs. total runway length of 5,276 feet). At about 150 feet agl and 90 knots, as he reached to raise the gear handle, the manifold pressure indication started dropping. He applied full throttle, but the airspeed fell below 60 knots, the stall warning sounded, and the cowling was shaking. The advent of a forced landing into a residential area straight ahead or a parking lot to the right necessitated his trying for a closer-in location left of runway centerline. He collided with trees and came to rest in a boat marina about 1/4 mile southwest of the airport. The pilot estimated that the airplane's fuel tanks held 70 to 75 gallons of fuel on departure, (fuelling records show that 66.11 gallons of 100LL was charged to the pilot's credit card from Fort Pierce Air Center, Fort Pierce, Florida, at 12:38 on December 13,1999).
The airplane came to rest nose down, upright, submerged except for about the aft 7 feet of fuselage and the empennage. The wing fuel tanks had ruptured. Propeller damage revealed tree scarring on two of three blades. One blade had fractured near the propeller hub and was not found.
The Lycoming TIO-540-S1AD engine, serial no. RL-5598-61A, was removed from the wreckage and disassembly examined by NTSB and FAA personnel. Magneto firing order to piston/valve relationships were proper. Drive train continuity was established and all gears showed a proper relationship. The cylinders, drive case, and all driven components were removed and examined with no irregularities noted. The engine-driven fuel pump and oil pump functionally tested normally, and their mechanical components revealed no damage. The oil filter and screen were free of metal particles or other contaminants. The fuel servo's filter screen was clean and smelled of 100LL aviation fuel. The flywheel, propeller governor, and turbocharger intercooler had broken loose due to tree collision. The turbocharger turbine blades revealed tree FOD damage.
The fuel servo and magnetos were removed for further repair station examination. The fuel servo disassembly inspection revealed no significant mechanical defects that would have caused precrash engine instability; however, proof of water containment was evident. The single drive dual magnetos, Teledyne Continental model no. D6LN-3000, part no. 10-682560-13, were bench test operated through an rpm range between 598 rpm and 5,000 rpm. The initial test run revealed normal intensity sparking at all ignition towers with no irregularities; however, after about five minutes of test run, between 1,231 rpm and 5,000 rpm, spark arcing was observed at the right-hand set of breaker points. Following the test run, the accident condensers were replaced with another, shop-supplied set and the arcing ceased. The accident condensers were tested for capacitance against the specified .32 to .43 micro-farads. The left condenser tested .30 micro-farads. The right condenser showed no reading at all, and was subsequently sent to the Teledyne Continental Motors factory for further examination, with FAA oversight. Factory testing revealed the condenser had not been submersion damaged, and that the internal windings were shorted to ground. See the FAA and Teledyne Continental Motors Engine/Component Investigation Report, an attachment to this report.
Metallurgical analysis of the separated propeller blade's fracture site was performed by a metallurgical testing service. The fracture revealed evidence of single overload failure due to impact. No evidence of fatigue or corrosion was present. The metallurgical laboratory analysis report is an attachment to this report. The propeller found on the wreckage is a Hartzell three-blade model no. HC-E3YR-1RF with blade model no. F7673DR. The type certificate data sheets for the PA-32T-300T indicate that a two-blade model no. HC-E2YR-1RF with blade model no. F8477-4 was factory installed and must be used unless STC 3181NM, (three-blade propeller substitution for two-blade) is complied with. There is no reference to the STC in the airplane's maintenance records.
A computation of the airplane's weight and balance, using the pilot's estimate of fuel on board and the FAA inspector's statement of the weight and loading of the cargo and passengers aboard, revealed that the airplane departed in an over loaded condition of about 272 pounds at a center of gravity location 1.85 inches within the aft limit.
The pilot did not produce documentation verifying that he was biennial flight review, (BFR) current. The pilot entered January 28, 2000, as his BFR date on his NTSB Form 6120.1/2, (date of accident, December 13, 1999). Federal Air Regulation Part 61.56 states that no person may act as pilot-in -command of an aircraft unless, since the beginning of the 24th calendar month before the month in which that pilot acts as pilot-in-command, that person has had a flight review and a logbook entry to that effect entered by an authorized flight instructor.