On March 7, 2004, at 1053 eastern standard time, N163GT, a Socata TB-20, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power, after departing from the Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK), Frederick, Maryland. The certificated private pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he performed a complete preflight inspection and noticed no abnormalities with the engine. During the initial takeoff climb from runway 30, at an altitude of 400 feet, he noticed the engine power decrease to 1,500 rpm, and several seconds later, the engine lost complete power. The pilot then performed a forced landing to a soft field, during which the wings and fuselage of the airplane were substantially damaged.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed a preliminary examination of the airplane after the accident. According to the inspector, he observed about 2-3 gallons of fuel in the left wing fuel tank; however, the tank was breached. The inspector reported there was "sufficient" fuel in the right tank. Examination of the cockpit throttle and propeller controls revealed they were in the full forward position, and the mixture control, which sustained impact damage, was in the 3/4 full forward position. The spark plugs were removed, and no anomalies were noted. The fuel servo displayed impact damage, and the fuel inlet line was separated from the inlet side of the servo.
The engine was test run on the airframe with a replacement fuel injector and fuel line. The engine started, and ran for several seconds, without any anomalies, before being shut down.
The National Transportation Safety Board's Metallurgical Lab examined pictures taken of the fuel injector inlet line, by an electron scanning microscope. According to the Metallurgical Lab, the damage to the fuel line was consistent with impact damage, and no evidence of cross-threading was noted.
According to the operator of the airplane, it had been topped off with fuel the day prior to the accident, and had flown about 2.5 hours since then.
A 100-hour inspection was performed on the airplane on March 2, 2004, and the airplane had flown approximately 8 hours since then.