On May 21, 2011, about 0745 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-30, N7248Y, experienced a loss of left engine power during takeoff roll from Phillipsburg Airport, Phillipsburg, Ohio. The airplane veered off the left side of runway 21 and impacted terrain. The certificated private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane received substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. The airplane was registered to Miller Aircraft Inc and operated by the pilot as an personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight that was to remain in the airport traffic pattern. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings but did not hold a multiengine airplane rating. The pilot had received a solo endorsement for a Piper PA-30 from his flight instructor. The flight instructor, who had been providing flight multiengine flight training to the pilot and instrument flight training in a Cessna 172 over the past year, held a valid airman medical certificate.
The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to remain in the airport traffic pattern to practice solo takeoff and landings. The pilot began his first takeoff using runway 21 and during the takeoff rotation, the airplane yawed left and did not respond to an application of right rudder. He retarded the throttles and attempted to steer the airplane to toward the right but could not regain directional control of the airplane. The airplane went off the runway and impacted a wooded area.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, the pilot stated that the left yaw occurred about 85-90 mph and that he did not react quickly enough to retard engine power.
The pilot stated that he was thrown forward and cut his forehead on the cabin roof and his right forearm was bruised from hitting the controls. The pilot reported that he did not use the airplane shoulder harness that was available.
The pilot's flight instructor told FAA inspectors that on the morning of the accident, he was at the hanger, where the airplane was kept, waiting for the pilot because they were suppose to go flying. The flight instructor waited for awhile and then noticed the pilot walking up the taxiway and that he was injured. The pilot told the flight instructor that he was involved in an accident and asked the flight instructor to check the airplane. The flight instructor said that he turned the magnetos and all the switches off. The flight instructor was not sure what switches were on.
The airplane was moved from the accident site to the registered aircraft owner's (previous owner's) hangar. The airplane was purchased by the pilot from the registered owner (previous owner) about a year prior to the accident and was not registered to the pilot. The accident was then reported on May 23, 2011, when the pilot contacted the FAA's Cincinnati Flight Standards District Office. According to the FAA, the pilot did not provide an explanation of why he had waited to report the accident.
Examination of the accident site by FAA inspectors revealed the presence of several skid marks consistent with the left main landing gear tire leading up to the where the airplane impacted trees. The accident site was located about half down runway 21 and 107 feet from its left edge. The skid marks were oriented along a direction from runway towards the accident site. The skid marks were about 18 feet long and separated by about 100 feet from each other along the direction of travel. A third skid mark along the same direction was about 145 feet in length. There were numerous damaged trees around the accident site.
Examination of the wreckage was performed at the registered owner's hangar. The position of all switches and engine controls could not be verified since the pilot and the registered owner stated that everything had been shut off after the accident. The fuel controls were also in the off position. The circuit breakers for the fuel boost pumps, turn and bank indicator, and the gear motor were out. There were three 40 lb bags of water softener salt and a portable oxygen canister in the rear cargo compartment. The upper left head lining showed signs of impact from the pilot.
The flaps were in the retracted position. Examination of the flight controls confirmed flight control continuity. The right wing main and auxiliary fuel tanks were almost full. There were no fuel contaminants noted. The left wing separated from the fuselage and fuel leakage was exhibited out of the cross over tube. The left wing main and auxiliary fuel tanks were empty.
Examination of the left engine revealed impact damage from the airplane's collision with the trees. The number one cylinder was cracked due to impact forces. The engine was crushed rearward and downward resulting in many of the engine accessories being broken off. Fuel was present in the fuel line leading to the fuel manifold. The propeller blades were bent and exhibited ground strikes consistent with low power. The engine was able to be rotated through using the propeller. Damage to the engine precluded functional testing.