On July 10, 2004, at 1243 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N56776, registered to and operated by the private pilot, collided with a tree shortly after takeoff in Cumming, Georgia. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated in Cumming, Georgia, at 1243, on July 10, 2004. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he and his son needed to leave and could not wait. According to a witness, the airplane took off on runway 03, attempted to climb and collided with a tree inside an unoccupied subdivision off the departure end of runway 03.According to the airport manager, the 1,551 foot runway was closed for resurfacing. He said that only about two thirds of the runway (1,033 feet) had been resurfaced and that heavy equipment occupied the last one third of the runway. A review of the Cherokee 140 owner's handbook found that under section 1 "Performance which apply to standard airplanes flown at a gross weight of 2150 pounds under standard conditions at sea level, or stated altitude found that the Take-off Distance over a 50-ft Obstacle (Flaps Up) was 1,700 feet." According to the airport manager prior to the airplane's departure the pilot was advised by the airport manager that the runway was closed until later in the day when the resurfacing was to be completed.
Examination of the accident found that from the departure end of runway 03, to where the airplane collided with trees was about 1/8 of a mile, and to were the airplane rested was approximately 1/4 mile. The right wing and landing gear was observed 100 feet up in a tree 100 to 120 yards from the fuselage. The left wing and landing gear was observed on the ground about 25 feet from the fuselage. The remainder of the wreckage was scattered over a 125 yard area from initial impact to the final resting place of the fuselage.