DEN07LA119
DEN07LA119

On July 11, 2007, at 1034 mountain daylight time, a Cessna T206H, N97PP, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when it impacted the runway after the engine lost partial power during takeoff and initial climb from Gunnison County Airport (GUC), Gunnison, Colorado. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and an instrument flight plan had been filed. The pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was seriously injured. The cross-country flight was originating at the time of the accident, and was en route to Saratoga, Wyoming.

The pilot said he rotated between 65 and 70 KIAS, flew in ground effect, and then climbed to about 50 to 75 feet. There was a "significant reduction in power" and the airplane "started gyrating wildly." The "right wing stalled and struck the runway along with the right main wheel." The airplane bounced, collapsing the nose wheel, and skidded to a halt on the side of the runway. The right wing was bent up about four feet inboard on the tip.

Of the six witness statements received, one reported hearing an "unusual noise." Another witness heard the engine "misfire."

On August 22, 2007, a cursory engine examination was performed in Gunnison. The top spark plugs were removed and bore a dark discoloration. According to the Textron Lycoming representative, this discoloration was consistent with operating at a slightly rich mixture. A borescope examination of the cylinders and bottom spark plugs revealed no anomalies. The propeller was turned over and all cylinders produced good thumb compression. There was continuity throughout the power train. The battery was reconnected and the boost pump was activated, pressurizing the fuel system. Examination of a fuel sample revealed a clear, bluish fuel consistent with 100-LL aviation-grade gasoline.

The lineman who had been on duty on the morning of the accident approached this investigator and reported witnessing the entire accident sequence. He also submitted a written statement. He stated that full power was developed as the airplane accelerated down the runway. At the 1,000-foot marker, the airplane lifted off and assumed "a very steep angle of attitude" (approximately 15 degrees or greater), and climbed to about 15 to 25 feet above the ground. The engine began surging (it was "not rhythmic and did not stop"). The pilot leveled off and began a stabilized descent, as if he were making a forced landing, and then leveled off again. The airplane suddenly dipped to the left and pulled up to a "high angle of attitude." The airplane stalled and broke to the right and nosed into the ground.

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