March 18, Farmingdale, N.Y. / Piper Warrior


At about 08:41 EST, a Piper PA-28-151 lost power after takeoff and crashed during the ensuing forced landing. The flight instructor and two passengers were seriously injured. The flight was an introductory flight lesson for a prospective student and his mother. The flight instructor said the engine lost power when the airplane was about 150 to 200 feet above the ground. With no suitable landing areas beyond the end of the runway, the instructor elected to turn back toward the airport. After completing more than 90 degrees of turn, the right wing struck a light pole and the airplane cartwheeled. Initial examination of the engine failed to determine the cause of power loss.


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