CHI00LA235
CHI00LA235

On August 1, 2000, at 1800 central daylight time (cdt), a Piper PA-28-160, N5293W, operated by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when the airplane struck a fence and impacted terrain during a forced landing. Prior to the forced landing attempt, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power on initial climb after takeoff from runway 29 (4,300 feet by 75 feet, dry asphalt), at the Burlington Municipal Airport, Burlington, Wisconsin. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident with a planed destination of the Lake Geneva Aire Estates Airport, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

In his written statement, the pilot said he had gotten airborne and was approximately 300 feet above the ground when "the aircraft engine had a sudden loss of power. I was already in a slight right hand turn, so I sharpened the turn, in an attempt to return to the runway. The attempt failed."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane was resting upright on the edge of a cornfield and an east-west running gravel road, 1/4 mile north of the departure end of runway 29. The airplane was oriented on a 055-degree magnetic heading. The airplane's left outboard wing leading edge was bent aft to the spar. The right outboard wing leading edge was bent downward. The left main landing gear was broken aft. The left and right wings were bent aft at the roots. The left and right forward wing attach points were broken. The fuselage, beginning beneath the airplane's cabin, and running aft to just forward of the empennage, was buckled aft. An examination of the airplane showed little to no fuel in the left main fuel tank. The right main fuel tank showed approximately 10 gallons of fuel. The fuel selector switch was observed to be positioned to the right tank. Fuel was observed in the gascolator. Flight control continuity was confirmed. During the post-crash examination, the engine was started and ran at idle power. An examination of the other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

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