The pilot was flying a recently purchased Piper PA24 Comanche that had been grounded for the previous 15 years. The accident pilot was an experienced and certified FAA mechanic. He had extensive experience flying Piper aircraft, but no significant experience flying the model of the accident aircraft.
Todd and John question the decision-making process of the accident pilot. Although the engine was sputtering, he took off. Although he was an experienced mechanic, he apparently did not do a full inspection of the engine. He attempted the “impossible turn,” a u-turn back to the airport that almost always results in stalling the engine.
John and Todd review the information in the NTSB report of the accident. They highlight the aviation safety practices that could have avoided this crash.
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