Prior to the flight, the pilot removed an insulating blanket and heat source from the Piper PA-16 and conducted his preflight inspection. Following a normal engine run up, he initiated takeoff from the airport, where he thought the airplane seemed sluggish and that the rate of climb didn’t feel normal.
He determined that the engine was not making full power, and decided to land at a nearby airport with a larger runway in Scappoose, Ore.
Following an uneventful landing, he diverted his attention to the engine instruments. Subsequently, the airplane swerved to the right, and the right main landing gear folded underneath the fuselage, which resulted in the right wing striking the ground.
Post-accident examination of the airplane by the pilot revealed that the right wing spar was bent. He added that he found an insulating cover over the carburetor air intake and that was the reason for the reduced power.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during landing roll. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s diverted attention and inadequate preflight inspection.
NTSB Identification: WPR14CA120
This February 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.