NTSB Identification: LAX96LA110.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 09, 1996 in KAHULUI, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/19/1996
Aircraft: STOLP STARDUSTER II, registration: N1457
Injuries: 2 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 airplane had not been flown recently, and the engine made a popping noise during run-up. The pilot accepted a midfield intersection departure from the 6,995-foot-long runway. At about the time the airplane rotated for takeoff, the engine started to make the popping noise again. At about 75 feet above the ground, the engine quit running. The airplane had flown past the departure end of the runway, and the pilot attempted to return to the airport. However, the airplane crash landed in a sugar cane field before reaching the runway. The last previous annual inspection had been completed on 2/14/93. In November 1995, an A&P mechanic made another inspection. The mechanic indicated the airplane was in need of work and the engine had low compression. He did not return the airplane to service and released it back to the pilot/previous owner. The pilot told the mechanic he would complete the repairs himself. Examination of the left magneto revealed the internal 'P' lead was detached from its connector; and the left magneto's internal mechanism was dirty, contaminated with engine oil, and displayed evidence of internal electrical arcing. According to the engine manufacturer, this could account for the popping noise. No record was found that the pilot possessed a current airman medical certificate or biennial flight review.

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

a faulty engine magneto, and decision by the pilot-in-command to operate the airplane with known deficiencies. A factor relating to the accident was: the airplane was overdue for an annual inspection.

Full narrative available

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