ATL05CA096
ATL05CA096

On June 8, 2005, at 1515 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-18A-150, N8680D, registered to Starka Ventures Inc., and operated by the commercial pilot collided with trees shortly after takeoff from a Cider Ridge Airport, in Griffin, Georgia. The 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 pleasure flight. The Pilot received serious injuries the pilot rated passenger received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated on June 8, 2005, from the Cedar Ridge Airport in Griffin, Georgia at 1510.

According to the pilot, the pilot rated passenger completed the preflight inspection on the airplane. The pilot rated passenger stated that prior to departure the fuel drains were sumped and fuel levels checked. He believes that the left tank was full and the right tank showed one-half full as seen through the wing tank sight gauges. and the fuel selector was on the left tank. They said they taxied out, did a run up and mag check, then departed to the north. As they passed the departure end of the runway at approximately 200 feet AGL the engine quit. The pilot immediately started a left turn back towards the runway. After completing the 180-degree turn, it became apparent that he did not have enough altitude to make it back to the airport. The pilot said he saw a small opening in the trees and attempted to steer in that direction. The last thing he remembered was the plane hitting the trees. The passenger stated that the right wing impacted trees causing the airplane to yaw to the right then impacted the ground. The passenger stated he exited the airplane through the left window and observed fuel leaking from the left wing and the pilot was unconscious. He removed the pilot from the airplane through the left window and waited for assistance.

Examination of the airplane found between two trees nose down rolled to the left with the right wing and empennage up. The cockpit window was shattered and the firewall and fuselage wrinkled. Approximately two quarts of fuel was drained into a 10 gallon plastic contained from the left fuel tank and about 7 gallons of fuel was drained from the right fuel tank. Examination of the cockpit found the fuel selector on the left fuel tank. The airplane was recovered and sent to Atlanta Air recovery for further examination.

On June 14, 2005, the engine was examined at Atlanta Air Recovery in Griffin, Georgia. Examination of the engine found that the throttle and mixture control when moved worked properly. Further examination of the engine found that it had sustained minor damage to the exhaust pipes. The engine was mounted and a substitute fuel supply was attached. Due to bending noted on the crankshaft propeller flange it was decided to start the engine and run it only at idle for safety reasons. A dummy propeller was attached to the propeller flange and the engine started without difficulty and idled for several minutes without any discrepancies noted.



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