On April 14, 2002, at 1915 eastern daylight time, a Piper J-3, N31118, registered to a private owner, collided with the runway during a precautionary landing at Falcons Aerie, Carrollton Georgia. The personal flight was operated by a private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private pilot received no injuries. The flight originated at Carrollton, Georgia, at 1900.

According to the pilot, after he departed the private strip to the south, he side stepped the runway to the right for a downwind pattern. During his turn for downwind he noticed the smell of oil, and saw smoke coming down the right side of the fuselage. All instruments checked good, and he elected to return to the airport to assess the problem. While on short final to land on runway 36 the airplane was to the right of the runway centerline. The pilot turned left to correct back to the centerline. When the pilot reduced the throttle, the airplane stalled and impacted the ground.

Examination of the airplane revealed all flight controls were present. All cables were intact, and no mechanical malfunctions were noted. The left wing spars were broken on impact. The engine continued to run on impact, but the wooden propeller was shattered. The left landing gear was separated from the fuselage, and the fuselage had twisted from impact.

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