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N2569P accident description

New Hampshire map... New Hampshire list
Crash location 43.000000°N, 71.000000°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Laconia, NH
43.527855°N, 71.470351°W
43.5 miles away
Tail number N2569P
Accident date 18 Jun 2015
Aircraft type Piper PA-22
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 18, 2015, about 0845 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-22-150, N2569P, was substantially damaged when it made a forced landing to a field shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip in Laconia, New Hampshire. The private pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

A witness stated that she heard the airplane on the takeoff roll and turned around to watch it depart. When she saw the airplane it was just starting to climb toward the south and the engine was "spitting and sputtering." The witness said the airplane started a right turn toward her but felt that the pilot saw her standing there so he banked to the left. The pilot then pulled up to avoid hitting a house, entered a right turn and descended into a field. The witness said that as the airplane climbed over the house, there was a quick surge in engine power before it made a "pop, pop" sound followed by a total loss of power. She said the pilot was flying the airplane the entire time, but was "in trouble" from the time he took-off up until the impact.

The pilot stated that he did not remember a "single aspect" of the accident after he took off including the engine running rough and subsequent forced landing. However, he did recall that prior to takeoff, the airplane and engine were operating fine and he had set the fuel selector valve to the right wing fuel tank.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 81, held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane and a second-class medical issued on October 13, 2014. He reported a total of 937 total flight hours, of which, 21 hours were in the accident airplane. In the past year, he had flown the airplane about 2.5 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 22-2932, was manufactured in 1956. A review of the airplane's maintenance logbooks revealed the airplane was restored and the Lycoming O-320-A2B engine and was overhauled in 2011. The engine was equipped with a Sensenich 74DM6-0-58, fixed-pitch propeller. Since overhaul, the airplane and engine had accrued about 19 hours. The last annual inspection was completed on June 6, 2014. Since that time, the airplane and engine had accrued about 2.5 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather reported at Laconia Municipal Airport (LCI), Laconia, New Hampshire, at 0835, was reported as wind from 250 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 12 degrees Celsius, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.07 inches mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

On-scene examination of the airplane revealed that it came to rest upright in a field on a heading of 266 degrees a few hundred yards southwest of the runway. From the point of impact to where the airplane came to rest was about 40 feet. All major components of the airframe were at the site and there was no post-impact fire. Both wings and the firewall sustained substantial damage. The empennage and tail control surfaces were not damaged.

The right wing sustained impact damage and both struts were bent. The fuel tank was intact and about 10 gallons of 100LL gasoline was drained from the tank. The fuel was absent of water and debris. The right main landing gear was torn from the airplane during impact.

The left wing sustained impact damage to the tip. The fuel tank was intact and about 10 gallons of 100LL gasoline was drained from the tank.The fuel was absent of debris and water.

Flight control continuity was established for all flight controls from the cockpit to the control surface.

The fuel selector was found in the near "off" position; however, according to the Assistant Chief of the Laconia Fire Department, the fuel selector was set to the "right" tank when they arrived on-scene.They turned it to what they thought was the off position for safety purposes. It was noted during the examination of the fuel selector that when it was manually moved and set to each tank position, it was very difficult to feel when the valve seated into its respective detent. When the pilot was asked if he had any previous problems with the fuel selector not seating in the detents, he said no. But, he did acknowledge that they were hard to feel. So much so, that when he first started flying the airplane he didn't realize that the fuel selector had any detents until he had flown the airplane for about 10 hours.

Shop air was blown through the fuel lines from each tank down to the carburetor. All lines were clear. The gascolater was torn from the firewall and the bowl had separated during impact.

The engine sustained some impact damage, but all major accessories remained securely attached to the engine. The two-bladed propeller had separated from the engine and one blade was bent aft and exhibited gouging along the leading edge. Due to impact damage and the propeller being separated, a test-run of the engine was not possible. The other blade appeared undamaged. The engine was manually rotated via the crankshaft flange and compression and valve train continuity were produced for each cylinder. The spark plugs were removed and appeared new when compared to the Champion spark plug wear chart. The magnetos were removed and spun. Spark was produced to each ignition lead.

Continuity of the throttle and mixture controls was established from the cockpit to the carburetor. The carburetor was removed and disassembled. The finger screen was absent of debris and about 1-ounce of fuel was drained from the carburetor bowl. The fuel was absent of debris and water.The floats were intact and undamaged. Fuel squirted out of the accelerator pump chamber when manipulated.

The primer handle in the cockpit was full forward, but it was not locked.

The oil plug was removed and a sufficient amount of honey-colored oil was observed.The oil screen was removed and was absent of debris.

No pre mishap mechanical deficiencies were noted with the engine or airplane that would have precluded normal operation at the time of the accident.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because of insufficient evidence found during postaccident examination of the airframe and engine.

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