On November 16, 2004, about 1035 eastern standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, N723CD, registered to multiple co-owners and operated by AirShares Elite, had an engine fire shortly after takeoff, and the nose landing gear collapsed during emergency landing at Peachtree City - Falcon Field, Peachtree City, Georgia. The business flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The private-rated pilot and two passengers reported no injuries, and the airplane sustained minor damage. The flight departed Peachtree City, Georgia, about 1030 eastern standard time on November 16, 2004.

According to the pilot, the flight departed runway 31, and the airplane performed normally. The pilot stated he turned the airplane onto the downwind for a downwind departure, then he heard a "pop" noise followed by a change in the exhaust sound. The pilot elected to return to runway 31 for landing, and, during the descent, he detected what he thought was the odor of composite burning. The pilot stated he executed a normal landing flare on the main wheels, but as the airplane's nose came down, it continued to sink lower than normal. The pilot applied more back pressure on the control stick, but the airplane's nose continued to drop until the propeller struck the runway. The pilot maneuvered the airplane toward the taxiway and shut down the engine. The pilot saw smoke coming from the engine cowling, and he and the passengers exited the airplane. The pilot saw flames emerging from inside the engine cowling, and he used the airplane's portable fire extinguisher to fight the fire.

Examination of the airplane revealed the engine and cowling sustained fire damage, the nose landing gear assembly was attached and fire-damaged, and each propeller blade showed tip damage and minimal clearance above the ground. Examination of the nose landing gear assembly revealed the nosewheel and tire were intact, and the polymer pucks in the shock strut assembly were fire-damaged and collapsed. Examination of the engine revealed the fuel flow transducer located above the No. 3 cylinder displayed blue stains at the forward and aft fittings, and the No. 3 cylinder intake tube showed blue stains at the area where it joined the cylinder head. A field test was performed by turning the cockpit master switch "on" and selecting the fuel boost pump to "prime," and fuel was observed to leak in a steady stream from the fuel line B-nut fitting at the fuel flow transducer. The B-nut was then tightened, the field test procedure was repeated, and no fuel leak was observed. Examination of the airplane's electrical components revealed no evidence of damaged wires and no evidence of electrical shorting.

The airplane had accumulated a total of 1613.5 hours at the time of the incident. A review of maintenance records revealed a 100-hour inspection of the airplane was completed October 7, 2004, and the airplane had accumulated approximately 21.5 hours since the inspection. The records showed the No. 3 cylinder had been removed during the inspection.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration Service Difficulty Reports (SDR) for Cirrus Design Corp. SR22 airplanes revealed no similar reports of a fuel leak.

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