NTSB Identification: ATL96FA037.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 19, 1996 in FORT PIERCE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N114AV
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Serious.

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.

According to the air traffic controller in the airport tower, about 5,000 feet of the runway was used for the takeoff roll. Witnesses reported that after lift-off, the airplane climbed about 200 to 300 feet above the runway and entered a steep right turn. The nose then dropped, and the airplane collided with the ground, adjacent to the runway. Presumably, due to injury, the pilot was unable to recall the occurrence. During a postaccident examination of the airplane, a foam-like material, used for the carburetor air intake filter, was found lodged in the carburetor throat; and one half of the retaining screen (to hold the foam) was absent. According to the aircraft records, the airplane had received an annual inspection three days before the accident flight, during which the filter was replaced. The airplane had been operated for an unspecified time following the inspection. Piper Service Bulletin 891 had been issued to provide for a one piece retainer for the filter, which would have precluded the filter from being drawn into the induction system.

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

improper re-assembly of the engine induction air filter by maintenance personnel, during an annual inspection, which resulted in a loss of engine power during takeoff; failure of the pilot to abort the takeoff before lift-off; and failure of the pilot to obtain and/or maintain sufficient airspeed, which resulted in a stall.

Full narrative available

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