ATL03LA040
ATL03LA040

On February 2, 2003, at 1206 eastern standard time, a Beech A24R, N9769L, registered to a private owner, collided with wires and trees on initial takeoff climb from runway 09 at Space Coast Regional Airport, Titusville, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot reported serious injuries and the three passengers reported minor injuries. The flight originated from Titusville, Florida, on February 2, 2003, at 1205.

The pilot advanced the throttle for takeoff until the throttle was completely in and at the hub. He initially noted the rpm showed 2,300, rpm and during the takeoff roll the rpm showed 2,500 rpm. The throttle slipped back about 1/2 inch on two different occasions, and he pushed the throttle back in. No increase in engine power was noted and he continued the takeoff roll. The pilot stated he probably had enough runway left to stop the airplane if he had aborted the takeoff soon enough. Once airborne, the pilot retracted the landing gear and continued applying full throttle. The throttle felt like it was sticking and the engine was not producing full power. The airplane reached about 75 to 100 feet, and was not climbing. The wind was out of the south and the pilot started a turn. The pilot stated he knew the airplane was not going to clear the wires and trees. The pilot applied aft pressure on the control yoke to decrease his airspeed and lessen the impending collision.

The controller in charge at Space Coast Regional Tower stated the pilot departed from runway 9. The ground run appeared to be slow. The airplane rotated and climbed to about 15 to 20 feet above the runway and flew straight ahead. Just before colliding with wires and trees he observed the nose of the airplane to pitch up.

Review of the Pilot's Operating Handbook, Section II Limitations, Power Plant Limitations states, "Take-off and Maximum Continuous Power......... Full throttle or 2700 rpm, whichever occurs first." Section IV Normal Procedures states, "Takeoff.....................Full throttle- 2700 RPM."

Examination of the crash site revealed the throttle cable was hard to move and would not move through the full range of travel. The cable was removed and visually inspected. The inner cable separated near the swaged assembly connected to the throttle handle. The throttle cable assembly was forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further analysis. Examination revealed the inner cable was fractured near the cockpit end of the assembly. Magnified optical examination of the fracture area revealed the seven individual wires of the inner cable were all deformed in a common direction adjacent to the fracture. The fractures were all typical overstress breaks, and there was no evidence of wear or corrosion deterioration at the fracture location. Fracture features and associated deformation were consistent with a bending overstress fracture while the cable was under a tension load.

Review of the airplane logbooks revealed the throttle cable had not been replaced since the airplane was manufactured. The engine control cables were lubed on October 7, 2001, and the last annual inspection was on November 11, 2002. The total time on the throttle cable at the time of the accident was 4,533 hours.

The aircraft wreckage was released to the registered owner on February 4, 2003. The throttle cable assembly was released to Atlanta Air Recovery, Griffin, Georgia, on April 30, 2003.

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