Aztec single-engine takeoff

A Piper Aztec (not the accident aircraft).

I just noticed this now in Transport Canada publication. I’m reproducing it here because I cannot link to it directly (links added by me):

On August 24, 2009, the pilot of a privately-owned Piper PA23-250 arriving from the United States stopped in Brantford, Ont., to clear customs before continuing to his private strip. When the pilot was preparing to depart Brantford, he was unable to start the right engine. The pilot elected to attempt a single-engine takeoff from Runway 23. During the take-off roll, the pilot was unable to maintain directional control; the aircraft departed the right side of the runway just before the intersection of Taxiway Echo and Runway 23. The aircraft struck a taxiway light and continued across the taxiway before becoming airborne. The aircraft began a slow climb but was unable to clear trees at the edge of the airport property. The aircraft’s right wing struck a tree approximately 20 ft off the ground, severing the outboard portion of the right wing. The aircraft crashed into a cornfield approximately 300 ft beyond the tree and sustained substantial damage. The pilot was the only occupant on board and received minor injuries.

TSB File A09O0179.

You can search for the source on this page.

Note that the news story linked above claims that an engine “seized” shortly after takeoff, but the later TSB summary contradicts that. The newspaper version is more believable — it’s hard to imagine any pilot knowingly doing a single-engine takeoff in a light twin!

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5 Responses to Aztec single-engine takeoff

  1. Frank Ch. Eigler says:

    What’s more surprising is that this crazy fellow did actually get airborne
    on one engine, just lost control after hitting that tree. So the plane can
    do it … but somehow that does not make me interested in replicating the stunt.

  2. Dave Starr says:

    Well the fact the airplane _could_ do it is hardly a question .. twins have been doing single -engine takeoff’s since the Douglas DC-1 days at least. But the idea that any pilot in his right mind would be so confident in his abilities that he _should_ do it gives me the willies.

    If I had my way, his medical would be pulled for life do to demonstrated insanity … but since he was only slightly injured in the crash, no doubt he’ll be out there again flying another airpane. Sad.

  3. Paolo B says:

    well…. I don’t think his license will be given back to him…. and even so…. I don’t see an insurance on the horizon for him.

  4. Danny V says:

    Actually I was there the next day and from what I heard from some pilots milling about was that he did indeed attempt a single engine take off after not being able to start his engine on the ground.

    Seems unbelievable but it happens. Get there-itis really gets to some people.

  5. Chris R says:

    Obviously never of heard of VMCG or VMCA.

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