ATL04LA175
ATL04LA175

On September 9, 2004, at 1107 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32-260, N45100, registered to a private individual and operated by the private pilot, collided with trees and the ground, and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from runway 27 at the Cobb County-McCollum Airport, in Kennesaw, 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. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight originated from Cobb County-McCollum Airport, Kennesaw, Georgia on September 9, 2004 at 1105.

According to the pilot and passenger they were flying to the Bahamas, with a planned refueling stop at St. Lucie County International Airport, Fort Pierce, Florida. The pilot stated that takeoff was smooth and problem free. Shortly after takeoff, he adjusted the power throttle to 24-inches of manifold pressure and the propeller to 2400 RPM. According to the pilot, the throttle adjustment showed no problems and the airplane's engine continued to run fine with the airplane maintaining a good rate-of-climb. The pilot stated that when he reduced the propeller to 2400 RPM, the manifold pressure dropped to below 20-inches. The pilot stated that he adjusted the propeller and throttle levers to the full forward position, but it had no effect on the manifold pressure. The pilot went through the emergency checklist but his efforts to restart the engine were unsuccessful. The pilot declared an emergency to a controller from the McCollum Airport air traffic control tower. A minute later, the pilot made a crash landing into trees.

Two aircraft mechanics stated that the airplane's nose wheel strut appeared to be fully extended when the pilot began taxiing the airplane. Other witnesses stated that when the airplane took off "it seemed slow and used a lot of runway".

Examination of the wreckage site revealed the airplane was located 0.8 mile northwest of the airport on a bearing of 259-degrees. The wreckage was scattered over 150 feet. The cockpit and engine were found separated from the cabin, and the wings and empennage were detached from the airplane. The airplane had fire damage to the right and left wings, and the empennage. The post-accident examination of the airframe and engine assemblies found no discrepancies. According to the pilot, the airplane had 70 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel onboard at takeoff.

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