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On June 30, 2005, about 0530 central daylight time, a Piper PA-32RT-300, N21835, operated by Safewing Aviation Company Inc., was destroyed on impact with a fence and levee on takeoff from runway 21 at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC), near Kansas City, Missouri. The non-scheduled domestic cargo flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot sustained minor injuries and was hospitalized. An instrument flight rules flight plan was on file and was activated. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), near Wichita, Kansas.
The pilot's accident report stated:
MKC to ICT call sign SFF [Safewing] 725. [Weather]
brief by Columbia [Flight Service Station] at about
04:30. Departed MKC, [runway] 21 [at] 05:30. About
10 seconds after liftoff, aircraft started to descend.
Impacted levee at end of runway, skidded over and came
to rest on other side.
The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane in reference to the accident flight.
The air traffic controller on duty stated:
Backtaxi [runway] 21, when you are ready, proceed on
course, cleared for takeoff, wind 310 [degrees at] 06 [knots].
I observed [aircraft] backtaxi to [taxiway] Golf intersection
of runway 21, turn around, and start departure roll.
[Aircraft] was observed rotating abeam the highspeed
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multiengine land rating with private pilot privileges for airplane single-engine land. The pilot's last medical examination was completed on April 15, 2005, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate with limitations for glasses. The pilot took a FAA Airman Competency/Proficiency Check in the PA-32 type airplane on April 23, 2005. The pilot was found satisfactory in the examined flight maneuvers during that check ride.
The pilot reported that he had accumulated 12,420.5 hours of total time and that he had accumulated 243.9 hours of flight time in the same make and model as the accident airplane. He reported that he had a total time of 1,051.6 hours of total time in single engine airplanes.
N21835, was a Piper PA-32RT-300, Lance II, serial number 32-7885262, single-engine, low-wing airplane. Its engine was a 300-horsepower Lycoming IO-540-K1G5D, serial number L-16964-48A. It could accommodate up to six occupants and was reported to be configured for two occupants at the time of the accident. The airplane had a maximum gross weight of 3,600 pounds.
The pilot reported that a 100-hour inspection was completed on June 29, 2005 and that the airplane had accumulated 9,715 hours total time. He reported that the airplane accumulated 0.1 hour since the 100-hour inspection.
The pilot reported that the airplane was fueled with 94 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel prior to the accident flight.
The operator reported a calculated weight for the flight of 3,575 pounds.
At 0454, the recorded MKC weather was: Wind 350 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 7 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 27 degrees C; dew point 19 degrees C; altimeter 29.91 inches of mercury.
At 0554, the recorded KMKC weather was: Wind 040 degrees at 9 knots; visibility 8 statute miles; sky condition few 10,000 feet; temperature 25 degrees C; dew point 19 degrees C; altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.
The air traffic controller reported the winds as 310 degrees at 6 knots at the time he issued the flight's takeoff clearance.
The North Central US Region Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) indicated the field elevation at MKC was 801 feet. MKC is a towered airport with two runways, 1/19 and 3/21. The A/FD stated that runway 1/19 was 7,002 feet long and 150 feet wide. The A/FD stated that runway 3/21 was 5,050 feet long and 150 feet wide. Both runways' surface were composed of grooved asphalt. Runway 1/19 was closed for construction at the time of the accident. Railroad, levee, and displaced thresholds are listed in the remarks for runway 3/21. The runway distance available at intersection Golf on runway 21 is about 4,350 feet.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
An airport fence, about 405 feet from the departure end of runway 21, exhibited impact marks. The levee, about 130 feet from the impacted fence, exhibited a ground scar. The top of the levee was about 155 feet from the impacted fence. The cargo was removed from the wreckage and weighed. The cargo weighed 608 pounds.
FAA inspectors examined the wreckage. Their examination did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies.
The FAA was a party to the investigation.
The pilot reported that the weight of the cargo to be about 350 pounds and the calculated takeoff weight to be about 2,974 pounds.
According to FAA inspector's calculations, the takeoff ground roll distance for the flight was 2,200 feet and the calculated takeoff distance over a 50 foot obstacle was 4,000 feet.
Using the air traffic controller's reported winds, the calculated tailwind on runway 21 was one knot. The calculated headwind for runway 3 was one knot.