ATL02LA173
ATL02LA173

On September 21, 2002, at 1015 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32RT-300, registered to Pine Valley Aviation and flown by the commercial pilot, collided with the ground and burst into flames short of runway 4 while on approach to land at Malcolm B. McKinnon Airport in Brunswick, Georgia. The training flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The commercial pilot was not injured and the air transport pilot, check pilot, received serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Brunswick, Georgia, at 1000, on September 21, 2002.

According to the pilot, he was taking a check-ride for his certified flight instructor's rating in single engine airplanes. He and the check pilot had completed several flight maneuvers and were conducting a simulated180-degree power-off landing. The simulated maneuver was established for runway 04; the engine was operating at reduced power. The pilot recalled that approximately three quarters through the turn, the airspeed got slow and the sink rate increased. At approximately the same time, witnesses on the ground noticed that the airplane had overshoot the final approach course for the runway. The pilot applied power to arrest the sink rate and to reestablish the final approach course. When the check pilot elected to take control of the airplane, he realized that there was not enough altitude to complete the recovery.

Witnesses on the ground also observed the airplane as it collided with tops of trees short of the runway. One witness reported that the nose of the airplane pitched up and the pilot recalled that the left wing fell and the airplane collided with the ground in a nose low attitude. The airplane came to rest about 60 feet short of the runway surface and burst into flames.

Examination of the airplane revealed that both wings were torn from the airframe. The right wing rested adjacent to the main wreckage and several other pieces of the airframe were scattered in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage. Neither pilot reported a mechanical problem with the airplane during the simulated emergency.




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