August 17, Plainville, Conn. / Cessna 172


At 1129 eastern time, a Cessna 172S crashed after takeoff from Robertson Field, killing the pilot and passenger. Witnesses said the engine sounded normal during taxi and takeoff from runway 02, but at about 50 feet agl the engine noise changed as if it had experienced a power reduction. Then the witnesses saw smoke trailing from the airplane. The airplane had climbed to about 300-400 feet agl when the pilot initiated a left turn at a 45-degree bank. The left wing dropped further and the airplane descended into a parking lot. The airplane, which had about 70 hours since new, showed evidence that the engine driven fuel pump or fuel hose may have failed, causing a fire in the engine compartment. The pump and hose were retained for further examination.


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