NTSB Identification: MIA94FA057.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 21, 1994 in TITUSVILLE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/03/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N777BE
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

WITNESSES ON THE GROUND REPORTED THAT THE ENGINES SOUNDED NORMAL WHILE THE AIRPLANE WAS TAXIING TO TAKEOFF. AFTER TAKEOFF WITNESSES REPORTED SEEING WHITE SMOKE TRAILING THE LEFT ENGINE. THE AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED TO BANK TO THE LEFT WITH A BANK ANGLE OF ABOUT 90 DEG. THE AIRPLANE THEN PITCHED NOSE DOWN, DESCENDED, AND COLLIDED WITH TREES AND THE GROUND. EXAMINATION OF THE LEFT ENGINE OIL SEPARATOR FROM THE TURBOCHARGER ASSEMBLY REVEALED THAT A SECTION OF PIPE NEAR A FLANGE WHICH IS CONNECTED TO THE TURBOCHARGER OIL OUTLET FAILED DUE TO FATIGUE. THERE WAS NO OTHER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION NOTED WITH THE LEFT OR RIGHT ENGINES AND PROPELLERS. THE MIXTURE CONTROL ARM ON THE LEFT ENGINE FUEL CONTROL UNIT WAS FOUND IN THE 'OFF' POSITION. ADDITIONALLY, THE FUEL SELECTORS AND MAGNETO SWITCHES WERE ALSO FOUND IN THE 'OFF' POSITION. A PILOT-RATED PASSENGER OCCUPIED THE LEFT FORWARD SEAT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

FAILURE OF THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND TO MAINTAIN VMC RESULTING IN THE INFLIGHT LOSS OF CONTROL. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE FATIGUE FAILURE OF A SECTION OF PIPE ADJACENT TO A FLANGE WHICH CONNECTS TO THE TURBOCHARGER OIL OUTLET OF THE LEFT ENGINE ASSEMBLY.

Full narrative available

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