NTSB Identification: MIA95FA223.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 15, 1995 in DALTON, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-200T, registration: N1543X
Injuries: 2 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.

During climb to cruise, the left engine lost power due to exhaust and intake valve failures of the No.6 cylinder. The pilot feathered the left propeller and turned back to the departure airport. During descent, the right engine lost power. The airplane then entered a steep descent and crashed in a wooded area. There was a massive postcrash fire. Examination of the fuel selector valves revealed the left engine fuel selector valve was in the 'on' position, and the right engine fuel selector valve was in the 'off' position. Investigation of valve failure in the left engine showed extensive rocker arm wear.

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

the pilot's improper action by turning off the right engine fuel selector valve after the left engine had failed, and her failure to maintain control of the airplane after losing power in both engines. Factors relating to the accident were: a worn rocker arm assembly and subsequent valve failure of the left engine's #6 cylinder, which resulted in a loss of power in that engine.

Full narrative available

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