Date & Time: May 3, 1989 at 1901 LT
Type of aircraft:
Piper PA-61 Aerostar (Ted Smith 601)
Harry A. Veite
New Iberia - Lorain
United States of America
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
Witnesses saw the airplane depart and last saw and heard it with the landing gear down and both engines running at what they called normal takeoff power. Evidence indicated that the airplane then made a sharp left turn and descended to the ground, left wing first. Evidence indicated that the right engine was developing high power while the left engine was developing somewhat less than takeoff power. Teardown of the left engine revealed metal erosion on the top edges of the pistons with no corresponding marks on the cylinder walls. Some of this erosion was from previous operation and some was from very recent operation. There was no teardown of the right engine. Other than the erosion of the pistons, nothing was found to indicate any preimpact problems with the airframe or powerplants. The pilot, sole on board, was killed.
The pilot failed to maintain a proper climb immediately after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was excessive manifold pressure indications for the left engine. The pilot's diverted attention in dealing with that condition most probably resulted in the loss of control.