MIA00LA127
MIA00LA127

On April 4, 2000, about 1035 central daylight time, a Cessna 152, N46912, registered to Middle Tennessee State University, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, crashed on takeoff climb in the vicinity of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a VFR flight plan was filed but not activated. The airplane was destroyed by postcrash fire, and the CFI-rated pilot and student pilot were not injured. The flight departed one minute before the accident.

According to the CFI, the flight had just departed runway 36 at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport. At about 100 feet agl, while in departure climb, the engine began to run rough, continued climb became impossible, and the airplane collided with a tree and power lines less than 1/2 mile north of the airport. The empennage separated and remained entangled in the power lines and the fuselage landed at the base of a stand of trees and burned.

According to the student, preflight inspection of the aircraft revealed no discrepancies. Sumping each fuel tank revealed no water and the tanks were full. The engine started smoothly, ran smoothly for the taxi, and pre-takeoff engine checks were normal.

The flight school could not provide a record of fuel farm or fuel truck contamination checks, but according to a fuel truck status sheet, N46912 was fuelled with 6.6 gallons of fuel on April 3rd. At some time after that fuelling on April 3rd, the fuel truck status sheet shows the following entries: (1) "filled truck" and (2) "sumped truck". According to the line serviceman on duty, it was the flight school's procedure to, "report any contamination to someone in charge". The flight school confirmed no report was given for that day.

According to an FAA inspector, postcrash fire limited examination of the engine and fuel components. Fuel contamination testing was impossible due to the introduction of fire retardant foam to the wreckage by fire rescue personnel; however, correct 100LL aviation fuel was determined to be aboard. The fuel filler caps appeared properly sealed and vented and the remaining vent tube from the left wing was not obstructed. The four fuel tank pick-ups were not obstructed. Subsequent disassembly examination of the engine revealed proper accessory drive and valve train relationship and continuity. All eight spark plugs revealed normal electrode coloring per Champion Spark Plugs Check-A-Plug chart AV-27 and tested satisfactorily. Magneto timing appeared correct, and both magnetos tested satisfactorily. Borescoping and compression testing of the cylinders proved satisfactory. The oil filter revealed no contamination or metal particles. The fire-damaged carburetor was removed and revealed no remnants of debris in the float-bowl or the fuel strainer. The throttle plate was found fully open.

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