DEN07LA149
DEN07LA149

On August 28, 2007, approximately 1300 central daylight time, a Piper PA-31P twin-engine airplane, N7325L, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain during a forced landing following the partial loss of engine power during initial takeoff climb near Newton, Kansas. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight was originating from the Newton City/County Airport (EWK), Newton, Kansas, at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot's written statement, he was taking off from runway 17. The takeoff was normal until approximately 300 feet above ground level (agl), when the right engine partially lost power. The pilot then started a shallow left turn back to the airport and proceeded to secure the right engine. He announced his intention to land on runway 35. On a one mile final for runway 35, the pilot observed that another airplane had just landed on runway 17. At less than 200 feet agl, the pilot decided to attempt a single engine go-around since the other airplane was still on the runway. The airplane was unable to attain a positive rate of climb, so the pilot decided to make a forced landing in a soft field adjacent to the airport. Examination of the airplane revealed the right wing forward and rear spars were bent in a upward direction.

An examination of the right engine, a Lycoming TIGO-541-E1A, by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector revealed that the number 6 cylinder exhaust gasket was "practically missing," the number 6 cylinder lower spark plug lead had melted and disconnected from the spark plug, the right hand magneto P-lead was heat damaged and shorted to ground "causing loss of the right hand magneto operation," and the wire bundle aft of the number 6 cylinder was heat damaged.

A review of the maintenance records revealed the most recent annual inspection was performed on August 24, 2007, at a total airframe time of 5,062.7 hours, and the engine had accumulated 162.1 hours since major overhaul. As part of the right engine inspection, the exhaust gaskets (part number 78056, according to maintenance logbook entry) were replaced on cylinders 2, 4, and 6. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 4 hours since the August 24th inspection.







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