After Take-Off, Airplane Started To Shake And Yaw To The Right

Location: Stockbridge, GA Accident Number: ERA22LA265
Date & Time: June 11, 2022, 12:07 Local Registration: N3477P
Aircraft: Piper PA-23 Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On June 11, 2022, about 1207 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-23, N3477P, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Stockbridge, Georgia. The pilot and pilotrated passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot he conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane with no anomalies noted before departing Berry Hill Airport (7GA7), Stockbridge, Georgia, on a personal flight. The pilot stated he had just purchased the airplane and that it had just undergone an annual inspection. The pilot and the airplane’s previous owner were flying to Covington, Georgia to have the avionics replaced.

After completing an engine run-up with no anomalies noted, the pilot stated he positioned the airplane as far back on the runway as possible, held the brakes and applied full power. He stated that he “looked at the engine instruments and all were within the green and producing power,” so he released the brakes for take-off. After take-off, airplane started to shake and yaw to the right, and the pilot believed that the right engine had lost power. The pilot applied left rudder to correct and noted the airspeed was below the placarded blue line airspeed (best rate of climb airspeed for single engine operation), so he decreased the airplane’s pitch attitude to gain airspeed. He stated, “the airplane was a hand full, I looked up and could see we barely cleared the treetops,” The pilot then told the pilot-rated passenger to take the controls, while he feathered the right engine propeller, which he recalled came to a complete stop. He stated that he then looked at the airspeed indicator and could see that the airplane had slowed to near the red line airspeed but had no altitude to lower the nose and gain airspeed. As he began a radio call to announce his intention to return to 7GA7, he noticed powerlines ahead that obstructed a turn toward the airport. The pilot recalled that as the airplane approached a line of trees it had “minimal airspeed” and he said out loud, “we’re going in” just before the airplane impacted the trees.