NTSB Identification: NYC95LA151.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 03, 1995 in NORTH BENTON, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N88631
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.

THE PILOT DEPARTED ON A LOCAL TEST FLIGHT. HE REPORTED THAT THE TEMPERATURE WAS 96 DEGREES (F), AND THAT HE BELIEVED THE AIRPLANE HAD NOT BEEN FLOWN IN THE PRECEDING 6 MONTHS. WHILE ON INITIAL CLIMB, AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 75 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND, THE ENGINE LOST POWER. DURING AN EMERGENCY DESCENT, THE PILOT LOST CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE. A WITNESS SAW THE AIRPLANE DESCENDING IN A NOSE DOWN, LEFT WING DOWN ATTITUDE BEFORE IT CRASHED. AN FAA INSPECTOR REPORTED THAT FUEL WAS FOUND IN THE FUEL STRAINER, BUT NOT IN THE CARBURETOR, AND THAT THE FUEL LINE WAS NOT BLOCKED. THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN SERVICED WITH AUTOMOBILE FUEL AND HAD BEEN EXPOSED TO THE 'HOT SUN' FOR SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE THE FLIGHT. THE FAA INSPECTOR THOUGHT THAT THE POWER LOSS MIGHT HAVE BEEN FROM A VAPOR LOCK, BUT THIS WAS NOT VERIFIED.

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

FUEL STARVATION FOR AN UNKNOWN REASON, RESULTING IN A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER; AND FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED, WHICH RESULTED IN AN INADVERTENT STALL.

Full narrative available

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