ATL03LA042
ATL03LA042

On February 8, 2003, at 1247 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182, N1415C, registered to, and operated by Mountain Air Inc., collided with the roof of a residence following a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The flight originated from the Lafayette Barwick Airport, in Lafayette, Georgia. The personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. There were no ground injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Lafayette Barwick Airport, Lafayette, Georgia, on February 8, 2003 at 1245.

The intended destination of the flight was to Blairsville, Georgia. According to the pilot, after takeoff he began to notice a slight loss of engine power. The pilot made the decision to continue climbing at a reduced rate of climb. The pilot stated that, "the engine's power reduced to about 50 percent of full power and he immediately leveled off and began to look for an open field". According to the pilot the airplane attained a maximum altitude of 150 feet above ground level.

The pilot further stated that he could not maintain altitude and attempted a forced landing between two trees. As the pilot maneuvered for a forced landing, the main landing gear of the airplane clipped trees. Subsequently the airplane nosed down and collided into the roof of a residence. The occupants of the house were uninjured. The pilot and passenger exited the airplane from the rear window on to the roof of the house as rescue personnel arrived.

During the on scene examination of the wreckage site, all of the airplane flight control components were located at the accident site and examined. The engine and propeller remained attached to the airframe. One propeller blade had leading edge gouges on the propeller tip. The other propeller blade was bent aft with chordwise scratches on the aft side of the propeller blade. The propeller blade had an "S" bend on the outboard section. The right main gear had crush damage, which left the gear pushed aft. The engine cowling and the right side of the fuselage were buckled. The firewall was damaged. The airplane was further examined on February 9, 2003. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the engine operated intermittently.

The examination of the engine assembly disclosed that the right engine mount was broken and the left engine mount was intact. The engine was secured to the for a functional engine run. Fuel was provided from a plastic tank through the left aft fuel tank supply line. It was noted that prior to starting the engine, the throttle would operate to the idle stop, but not to the full throttle stop. The throttle valve was open. The throttle control did not have a springback and it would only extend aft one inch. The accelerator pump sprayed fuel when the throttle control was pumped. The throttle cable was disconnected from the throttle arm so the complete control of the throttle was available.

Several engine runs were achieved. During each engine run, the engine made an uncommanded stop. The duration of the engine runs varied between 15 seconds to 10 minutes. During the examination, a fuel flow check was performed at the line to the carburetor. The fuel can hose was found to be kinked and then was replaced. The fuel bowl was removed and contained fuel. The floats were white plastic and operated freely. The carburetor was reassembled then replaced.

At this time the airbox was removed. The magnetos were checked at 1500 RPM. There was a 50-RPM drop between the two magnetos. The top spark plugs were removed. The electrodes of the top spark plugs were dark black and had a sooty appearance.

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