May 7, 2011, Ocilla, Ga., Piper PA-28-180


The aircraft was substantially damaged during collision with terrain at 1030 Eastern time, shortly after takeoff. The private pilot/owner and three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed. The flight was destined for a nearby airport, for a fuel purchase.

The pilot reported he turned the airplane to the right immediately after liftoff, to avoid a tree. The engine stopped producing power, the stall warning activated and the airplane remained in a right bank until ground contact. The local chief of police, a certificated pilot, reported turning off the fuel boost pump, the magnetos and moving the fuel selector from the right tank position to the off position upon his arrival at the scene. When asked about the airplanes fuel state, the chief said the left tank was “dry” and the right tank contained “not very much” fuel.


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