CHI02LA019
CHI02LA019

On November 4, 2001, about 1520 central standard time, a Piper PA-32-301T, N82813, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with wet, rutted terrain during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power during takeoff from runway 1 (5,000 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) at Price County Airport (PBH), near Phillips, Wisconsin. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot and four passengers were uninjured. A VFR flight plan was on file and was activated. The flight was originating from PBH at the time of the accident and was destined for Campbell Airport (C81), near Grayslake, Illinois.

The pilot stated:
The flight to PHB was routine in every respect. Included in my
panel is a JPI-EDM 800 that provides detailed engine performance
information. The monitor indicated normal operation. We arrived
PBH at 12:15 CST. I purchased 42 gallons 100 LL on arrival.

We arrived at the airport (PBH) for our return flight to C81 at
14:40 CST. I performed a detailed pre-flight check using the
checklist. All systems checked normally.

At 15:00 CST, upon completion of passenger boarding and briefing,
I started the engine and taxied to a safe area to perform the engine
run-up and equipment checklist. Every function on the checklist
performed normally. I taxied to the hold line for runway 06,
performed the normal takeoff checklist, then opened my VFR flight
plan with FSS [Flight Service Station] at 15:16 CST. I announced
myself on Unicom taxing to runway 01 for immediate departure to
the Southeast.

Upon arriving runway 01, I again performed the normal takeoff
checklist and applied full power indicated by 34 Inches of manifold
pressure as prescribed by the POH [pilot operating handbook]. The
plane accelerated normally and rotated at 80 knots. During initial
climbout I noted a change in exhaust noise, and the engine began
running rough. I surveyed the area in front of me and determined that
I was too high to return to the runway and land safely. The terrain in
front of me, from East to West, was dense tree cover. The engine was
running rough, but still developing enough power to execute a shallow,
climbing, left turn, providing me the opportunity to use the airport
environment behind me for a landing. On a wide left downwind for
runway 19, at approximately 250 ft. AGL [above ground level], the
engine ceased developing power. I chose a touchdown point in the
field on the runway environment immediately south of runway 06/24.
Considerations were a large berm and a mature tree line on the edge
of the field. The field was cut grass, but soft, wet, and rutted. During
the rollout the nosegear and the left main gear collapsed.

... Included in the enclosed package is a copy of the flight profile
downloaded from the JPI-EDM800 engine monitor. ... I have made
notes in the margin indicating the stages of flight. As you can
see, all the indications are normal during the run-up. The problem
occurs after application of full power as shown by #2 EGT, then one
minute later with #2 CHT, which corresponds with changes in fuel
flow, RPM, manifold pressure, and % horsepower.

The pilot's package of engine monitor data printouts was reviewed. The pilot noted ten entries as "runup." The pilot stated that "FF = fuel flow, USD = fuel used, and MAP = manifold [pressure]." The runup entries follow.
TIME FF USD RPM MAP
21:03:50 10.2 0.3 1694 19.6
21:03:56 13.3 0.3 1991 19.6
21:04:02 13.3 0.3 1991 19.6
21:04:08 13.3 0.3 1984 19.6
21:04:14 13.5 0.3 1984 19.6
21:04:20 13.5 0.3 1995 19.6
21:04:26 13.5 0.3 1995 19.6
21:04:32 13.5 0.5 1995 19.6
21:04:38 13 0.5 1875 21
21:04:44 13.5 0.5 1987 19.9

Excerpts noted as "takeoff", follow.
TIME FF USD RPM MAP
21:12:14 10.4 0.9 1677 20
21:12:20 35.9 1.1 2646 32.9
21:12:26 37.7 1.1 2630 34.4
21:12:32 37.7 1.1 2613 34.4
21:12:38 37.3 1.3 2637 34.4
21:12:44 37.7 1.3 2617 34.4
21:12:50 37.7 1.3 2629 34.4
21:12:56 36.3 1.5 2614 33.6
21:13:02 36.3 1.5 2626 33.6
21:13:08 36.3 1.5 2626 33.6
21:13:14 34.2 1.5 2636 30.9
21:13:20 8.7 1.7 2064 11.8
21:13:26 5 1.7 1777 9.5
21:13:32 4.7 1.7 1620 9.5
21:13:38 4.5 1.7 1590 9.5
21:13:44 1.4 1.7 1320 6.7
21:13:50 9.2 1.7 2023 15.8

The remaining entry excerpts follow. The first excerpt entry was circled and noted as "landing."
TIME FF USD RPM MAP
21:13:56 1.5 1.7 30 28.7
21:14:02 1.2 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:08 0.3 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:14 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:20 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:26 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:32 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:38 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:44 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:50 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:14:56 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:02 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:08 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:14 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:20 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:26 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:32 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:38 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:44 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:50 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:15:56 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:16:02 0 1.7 0 28.7
21:16:08 0 1.7 0 28.7

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined the wreckage on-scene. The engine was test run. No anomalies were found during the test run.

The engine monitor manufacturer was asked to graph the data from the accident airplane's monitor. The graphs are appended to this report.

The aircraft was repaired. The fixed base operator that performed the repairs stated the following.
During repairs to the above referenced aircraft, we discovered that
the fuel selector lever would go past the selected fuel tank
detent. Upon further investigation, the 'off' stop was not operating
properly. After airframe repairs were complete and engine
reinstalled the aircraft was ground run in that fuel selected position
with no noticeable drop in fuel flow at full power on the ground. Then
the selector was operated between the detent and the noted
position above - again, no noticeable fuel flow was noted at full
power on the ground. While at full power, we were able to go to the
'off' position and the engine quit immediately.

The PA-32-301T's POH stated the following.
3.3 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES CHECKLIST ...
ENGINE POWER LOSS DURING TAKEOFF
... If sufficient altitude has been gained to attempt a restart:
Maintain safe airspeed
Fuel selector...............................switch to tank containing fuel
Electric fuel pump...........................................................check on
Mixture...........................................................................check RICH
Alternate air............................................................................OPEN

3.9 ENGINE POWER LOSS DURING TAKEOFF
... If engine failure was caused by fuel exhaustion, power will not
be regained after switching fuel tanks until the empty fuel lines are
filled. This may require up to ten seconds

3.39 ENGINE ROUGHNESS
... Switch the fuel selector to another tank to see if fuel
contamination is the problem.

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