CEN11LA527
CEN11LA527

On July 22, 2011, about 0830 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Snow Quickie 2, N240JS, impacted terrain during an aborted takeoff at Ashtabula County Airport (HZY), Ashtabula, Ohio. The certificated commercial pilot was uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the canard, both wings, and empennage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a test flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the local flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot was performing a takeoff as part of a phase 1 test flight after having attempted a previous takeoff that resulted in the airplane not being able to lift off. During the accident takeoff, the airplane was unable to achieve an out of ground effect climb while the airplane nose pitched up and down. The pilot aborted the climb by reducing power after which the airplane descended, bounced and veered off the remaining runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the canard, both wings, and empennage. The pilot stated that the airplane engine speed only achieved 2,600 to 2,690 rpm during the test flight and not the expected speed of 3,300 to 3,400 rpm.

The pilot stated that he had consulted with other experimental aircraft owners who had made use of the accident engine make and model (Chevrolet Corvair engine, serial number TO317YN, rated at 110 horsepower) on their aircraft. One of these aircraft owners used a Sensenich 54 x 57 propeller on the engine. The pilot stated that he changed the propeller on his airplane from a 60 x 63 propeller to a Sterba 54 x 57 propeller, after which the engine was able to achieve a speed of 2,600-2,690 rpm during high speed taxi runs. The pilot believed that the engine would achieve 3,300-3,400 rpm in level flight. The pilot said that excessive pitch would explain smooth operation of the engine without achieving "full power." A Federal Aviation Administration inspector thought that the propeller pitch was not allowing the engine to develop full power. The pilot stated that other possibilities for the lack of engine speed could be attributed to the reported density altitude of 2,000 feet, which would affect "lift, power, and thrust adversely." The pilot said that he had set the distributor advance to 32 degrees at 2,220 rpm. He said that at that time, the engine achieved a speed of 2,700 rpm. The pilot said that the engine was suppose to gain about 600 rpm at full throttle and level flight. He said that the distributor timing could have changed so that full timing advance was not achieved. The pilot said that this would explain smooth engine operation without achieving "full power." The pilot said that upon seeing less the 2,700 rpm during the high speed taxi, he should have been alerted to check the distributor advance setting. Instead, the pilot thought the engine speed of 2,600-2,690 rpm was a function of propeller drag at low airspeed and that the engine would accelerate to 3,300 rpm in flight with full throttle.

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