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N1449H accident description

New Jersey map... New Jersey list
Crash location 39.457500°N, 74.577223°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 Atlantic City, NJ
39.364283°N, 74.422927°W
10.5 miles away
Tail number N1449H
Accident date 04 Mar 2014
Aircraft type Piper PA-28-161
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 4, 2014, at 1650 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-161, N1449H, operated by the FAA Flying Club, INC, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain and a fence during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power after takeoff from Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), Atlantic City, New Jersey. The airline transport pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot stated the purpose of the flight was to travel in order to give a presentation on cold weather survival and civilian air intercept procedures. He said he specifically checked to see if the airplane was "clear of snow and ice" prior to departure, and determined that it was, but then later described clearing the "minor snow accumulation" at the bottom of the engine compartment. The pilot described his preflight inspection, engine start, taxi, run-up, and before takeoff checks as performed in accordance with the checklist.

He then described a "normal" acceleration of the engine during the takeoff roll, with a "slight hesitation" at 2,200-2,300 rpm, as he continued the takeoff. At 70 knots and over the departure end of the runway, the engine "lost significant power." Rather than attempt a return to the runway, or land straight ahead to wooded terrain, the pilot elected to perform a forced landing to the airport perimeter road. Just prior to ground contact, the airplane's left wing struck a tree and a fence, and the airplane impacted the road and came to rest inverted.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. He also held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for rotorcraft-helicopter. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued on October 21, 2013. He reported 3,245 total hours of flight experience, of which 318 hours were in single-engine airplanes.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1977. Its most recent annual inspection was completed September 12, 2013, at 5,038.1 aircraft hours. The airplane accrued 37.1 hours of flight time after the inspection.

At 1654, the weather conditions reported at ACY included calm winds, clear skies, and 10 miles of visibility. The temperature was -4 degrees C, the dew point was -9 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.28 inches of mercury.

Examination of photographs revealed the airplane came to rest inverted on the airport perimeter road, entangled in a fence. The left wing was separated from the airplane at the wing root. Photographs taken at the original point of touchdown, revealed slash and paint transfer marks in the pavement that were consistent with the color and dimension of the propeller blades. The airplane was removed from the site, and recovered to the operator's ramp space at ACY. Later, it was moved to an aircraft recovery facility in Clayton, Delaware for a detailed inspection which was performed by the FAA on May 14, 2014.

The airplane was secured to a flatbed trailer, with the left wing separated by impact, and the right wing removed by recovery personnel. A substitute propeller and aircraft battery were installed, and an auxiliary fuel supply was plumbed into the fuel system to attempt an engine run.

The engine started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran without interruption. The magnetos were tested, and found to be functioning as designed. Several rpm changes, through rapid accelerations and decelerations, were accomplished with smooth operation throughout.

NTSB Probable Cause

A partial loss of engine power at takeoff for reasons that could not be determined during a postaccident examination or engine test run.

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