FTW02LA128
FTW02LA128

On April 24, 2002, at 1009 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172RG single-engine airplane, N6288R, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during the initial takeoff climb from Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo, New Mexico. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Holloman Air Force Base Aero Club of Alamogordo. The flight instructor (CFI) and private pilot receiving instruction were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the CFI and the private pilot, the purpose of the flight was to familiarize the private pilot with a complex-type airplane. They performed the airplane pre-flight examination together, taxied for takeoff, and performed an engine run-up. No anomalies were noted during the engine run-up. The air traffic control tower cleared the flight to takeoff from runway 07, at the runway 16 intersection. The private pilot initiated the takeoff roll with the flaps retracted and full fuel. According to a weather observation facility at the air base, at the time of the accident, the wind was from 340 degrees at 11 knots. The manifold pressure, rpm, and engine gauges were all within the set limits during the takeoff roll, and the airplane became airborne. However, once airborne the airplane did not gain airspeed. The pilots maneuvered the airplane into the wind and elected not to retract the landing gear. The CFI stated that he "sensed a lack of adequate power development." The private pilot ensured that the throttle was full forward, reduced the airplane's pitch attitude, and the "airspeed came back weakly;" however, when he increased the pitch attitude, the airspeed "immediately started falling away." The CFI tried a few different mixture settings; however, none increased the power output. The airplane was descending when the private pilot relinquished control of the airplane to the CFI. During the ensuing forced landing, the CFI maneuvered the airplane around a concrete block and landed it in a rough field. The airplane contacted a fence during the roll-out and came to a stop up-right. The left elevator and the empennage sustained structural damage.

The Lycoming O-360-F1A6 engine was examined and test run by Aero Club personnel and an FAA inspector. The engine was started and test run in the airframe for a total of 10-15 minutes. The engine started without delay, and during the run, the power was set from idle to maximum power, the propeller was cycled, and a magneto check was performed. No anomalies were noted. A differential compression check of the cylinders was then performed, and the carburetor fuel screen was checked. No anomalies were observed.

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