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N245TB accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 35.616945°N, 106.089444°W
Nearest city Santa Fe, NM
35.686975°N, 105.937799°W
9.8 miles away
Tail number N245TB
Accident date 12 Aug 2006
Aircraft type Piper PA-23-160
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 12, 2006, at 0821 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-23-160 twin-engine airplane, N245TB, sustained substantial damage during an aborted take-off at Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), Santa Fe, New Mexico. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The cross-country flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Ponca City, Oklahoma.

On July 8, 2006, the pilot and passenger traveled to Page, Arizona, to inspect the accident airplane that they were considering purchasing. They met with the airplane's owner, and the airplane "was sound and flew well." They then decided to purchase the airplane.

The pilot's multi-engine currency lapsed and he decided to hire an instructor to review the airplane systems and fly the airplane back to Ohio, the pilot's state of residence. On July 23, 2006, the pilot and passenger met the instructor in Page. They agreed to depart for Ohio the following day. Approximately 5 minutes into the flight to Ohio on July 24th, the right engine oil temperature exceeded red line at 253 degrees. They elected to return to Page and troubleshoot the problem. An inspection revealed that the right air intake was partially blocked. An engine run-up was performed and everything checked out fine. They departed Page again, and approximately 5 minutes into the flight, both engine oil temperatures exceeded redline over 250 degrees. They returned to Page again the pilot called the previous owner to discuss the problem. The previous owner reported that he never experience any overheating problems. On July 27th, the previous owner and the pilot test flew the airplane with no problems noted. The previous owner and his mechanic determined that the problem was the instructor's "improper pilot operation of the Ray_Jay Turbo systems..." The instructor stated he used turbo operations for fuel injected engines instead of carbureted engines.

The previous owner gave the pilot an airplane systems and flight check-out, which was approximately 7.5 hours. On July 28th, the pilot and passenger departed Page en route to Ohio. Approximately 2 hours into the flight, they could see ahead that they may encounter instrument meteorological conditions and they filed an IFR flight plan. Shortly thereafter, the airplane experience navigational equipment problems. They then elected to land at SAF in order to troubleshoot the problems. A maintenance facility at Santa Fe repaired the airplane and returned it to service on August 11, 2006. The pilot and passenger picked up the airplane on August 12th and prepared to continue the flight to Ohio.

The pilot reported that prior to takeoff, he completed an engine run-up and "everything appeared to be fine." After the pilot received takeoff clearance for runway 2 (8,342 feet long by 150 feet wide), he applied full power and checked the propeller controls to confirm they were full forward. The pilot reported, "After a few seconds of full power, it seemed the aircraft was sluggish to develop airspeed in order to reach rotation speed of 64 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). [The pilot] assumed it was due to the density altitude and full fuel." After rotation at "red line Vx speed," the pilot lowered the airplane's nose in an attempt to obtain "blue line" airspeed; however, the airplane would not accelerate beyond Vx speed. The pilot felt "the engines were not producing full power." Subsequently, the pilot elected to abort the takeoff and attempted to land back on the remaining runway. The airplane landed on the runway with the landing gear retracted and "skidded to a stop." The pilot noted no anomalies on the engine instruments during the attempted takeoff.

At 0820, the SAF automated surface observing system (ASOS) reported the wind from 340 degrees at 5 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 18 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.15 inches of Mercury. The calculated density altitude was 8,180 feet mean sea level.

Examination of the airplane by airport personnel revealed the right wing and lower portion of the rudder were bent. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined the airframe and engines. The examination revealed no anomalies with the airframe and engines.

According to the NTSB Pilot Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1), Recommendation (How could this accident have been prevented) section, the pilot reported, "Should have aborted take off earlier on ground roll."

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's improper decision to continue the attempted takeoff when Vx airspeed was not obtained, and failure to abort the takeoff during ground roll which resulted in an impact on the remaining runway with the landing gear retracted. A contributing factor was the high density altitude.

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