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N9574U accident description

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Crash location 44.670834°N, 83.304167°W
Nearest city Harrisville, MI
44.656402°N, 83.294689°W
1.1 miles away
Tail number N9574U
Accident date 30 Aug 2003
Aircraft type Grumman American AA-5A
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On August 30, 2003, at 1418 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA-5A, N9574U, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during initial climb from runway 21 (2,200 feet by 60 feet, turf) at the Harrisville Airport (5Y0), Harrisville, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot and his two passengers reported minor injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and had the intended destination of Ray Community Airport (57D), Ray, Michigan.

According to the pilot's written statement, prior to engine startup he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and visually verified the fuel quantity to be approximately 27 gallons. The pilot stated that prior to takeoff he completed a "standard runup and instrument checks." The pilot reported he decided to perform a short-field takeoff, with wing flaps set to approximately 1/3 total extension. The pilot stated he held the brakes until engine rpm reached 2,350 and the airplane subsequently rotated after using approximately 700 feet of runway. The pilot reported the airplane cleared the tree obstructions by 100 feet and he retracted the wing flaps at 1,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The pilot stated that the engine "cut out" at approximately 1,200 feet msl while he was maneuvering to depart the traffic pattern. The pilot reported that he "immediately got the plane in a [descent] attitude to keep airspeed up (70 mph). [The pilot] performed a cursory review of the instruments. [Magnetos] were on both, fuel pump on, full throttle and mixture." The pilot stated that the airplane impacted between two pine trees during the forced landing.

The automated surface observing system (ASOS) at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport (OSC), located approximately 14 nautical miles south-southwest of 5Y0, recorded the following weather information at 1415:

Wind 110 degrees true at 7 knots; 10 statute mile visibility; sky clear; temperature 20 degrees Celsius; dew point of 09 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.28 inches-of-mercury.

Inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performed the on-scene examination of the airplane. Air was expelled and drawn into all cylinders when the engine crankshaft was rotated by means of the propeller. The left magneto, which contained an impulse coupling, provided spark on all leads when the propeller was rotated. No anomalies were found with the ignition sequence or timing. The carburetor bowl contained a blue-colored fluid that was consistent with 100-low lead aviation fuel. The fuel sample did not contain any visible sediment or water contamination. The bracket air-filter was not collapsed and the induction system was not obstructed. The engine started and ran at idle power without anomalies. The engine ran on both magnetos and while isolated on each individual magneto. A full throttle engine run could not be accomplished due to propeller damage, however, the engine responded to momentary throttle inputs.

NTSB Probable Cause

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons and the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing. A factor to the accident was the trees.

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