NTSB Identification: ATL94LA136.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 11, 1994 in HAMPTON, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/25/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-160, registration: N3381P
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

WITNESSES HEARD THE LEFT ENGINE SPUTTERING DURING THE TAKEOFF ROLL, AND WATCHED AS THE AIRPLANE BECAME AIRBORNE, VEERED TOWARD THE LEFT, STALLED, AND IMPACTED THE GROUND. THE PILOT HAD FLOWN TO THE AIRPORT FOR RADIO WORK. WHILE THE AIRPLANE WAS PARKED ON THE RAMP FOR TWO HOURS, THERE WAS HARD RAIN. THE AIRPLANE WAS THEN TAXIED TO THE FBO AND FUELED. DURING THE SUBSEQUENT TAKEOFF, THE LEFT ENGINE QUIT. NO WATER WAS FOUND IN THE REFUELING TRUCK AND OTHER AIRCRAFT WERE FUELED FROM IT BEFORE AND AFTER THE ACCIDENT WITH NO DISCREPANCIES REPORTED. THE POST ACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE REVEALED WATER IN BOTH ENGINE FUEL PUMPS. THE THERMOS TYPE FUEL CAPS OF BOTH MAIN TANKS WERE FOUND LOOSE, AND THE SEALS CRACKED. AN AD REQUIRES THE FUEL CAPS TO BE INSPECTED ANNUALLY. THE AIRCRAFT LOG INDICATES THAT THE INSPECTION WAS DONE ABOUT ONE MONTH PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE AIRCRAFT PRE-FLIGHT INSPECTION, HIS FAILURE TO ABORT THE TAKEOFF, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRSPEED THAT RESULTED IN A STALL. A FACTOR WAS THE INADEQUATE AIRCRAFT INSPECTION THAT DID NOT IDENTIFY THE WORN FUEL CELL CAPS.

Full narrative available

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