NTSB Identification: LAX94LA189.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 15, 1994 in HESPERIA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/07/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N4129J
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT DEPARTED AT NIGHT FROM AN UNCONTROLLED AIRPORT AFTER AN EN ROUTE STOP. DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB, ABOUT 200' ABOVE THE GROUND, THE ENGINE BEGAN TO LOSE POWER. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO RESTORE POWER & SELECTED A FORCED LANDING AREA. DURING THE LANDING, THE AIRPLANE STRUCK A BUSH, SEPARATING THE AIRPLANE'S LEFT WING. THE PILOT RECOVERED THE AIRPLANE & CONDUCTED SEVERAL POST-CRASH INSPECTIONS. AN EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE BY AN FAA INSPECTOR REVEALED A LEAK AT THE GASCOLATOR GASKET. FURTHER EXAMINATION REVEALED THE GASCOLATOR WAS NOT SAFETY WIRED & THE FUEL SCREEN WAS MISSING. ALSO, THE LIP OF THE GASCOLATOR BOWL HAD 2 GOUGES, THE GASKET WAS TOO SMALL FOR THE INSTALLATION, & THE GASKET APPEARED TO HAVE ALLOWED AIR INTO THE FUEL SYSTEM. THE FAA INSPECTOR COULD NOT DETERMINE TO WHAT EXTENT THE PILOT'S POST-CRASH INSPECTION HAD ON THE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE AIRPLANE. THE AIRPLANE RECEIVED AN ANNUAL INSPECTION ABOUT 25 FLIGHT HOURS BEFORE THE ACCIDENT.

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

LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO AN AIR LEAK AT THE GASCOLATOR GASKET, WHICH WAS IMPROPERLY INSTALLED DURING MAINTENANCE. DARKNESS WAS A RELATED FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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