NTSB Identification: SEA94FA168.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 07, 1994 in ARCO, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N5919Y
Injuries: 1 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 REPORTED THAT THE PILOT ABORTED THE FIRST TAKEOFF DURING THE GROUND RUN DUE TO A LOSS OF POWER TO THE LEFT ENGINE. THE PILOT RETURNED AND COMPLETED A RUN-UP, THEN TOOK OFF AGAIN. AFTER THE AIRPLANE LIFTED OFF, IT BANKED RIGHT AND LEFT SEVERAL TIMES. EACH TIME THE AIRPLANE BANKED RIGHT, THE CABIN DOOR CAME OPEN. THE PILOT CONTINUED THE TAKEOFF AND ATTAINED AN ALTITUDE OF 300 FEET WHEN THE AIRPLANE SUDDENLY AND STEEPLY TURNED LEFT AND DESCENDED TO THE LEVEL OPEN TERRAIN. THE RIGHT SIDE CABIN DOOR LOCKING MECHANISM WAS FOUND IN THE UNLOCKED POSITION, WITH THE LOCKING PINS RETRACTED. A FUEL MANIFOLD VALVE DIAPHRAGM ON THE LEFT ENGINE WAS FOUND TORN.

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

THE PILOT'S DIVERSION OF HIS ATTENTION OF CONTROLLING THE AIRPLANE WHICH LED TO HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED. A FACTOR WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO ASSURE THAT THE CABIN DOOR WAS CLOSED AND LOCKED.

Full narrative available

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