NTSB Identification: LAX96LA147.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 29, 1996 in TORRANCE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N14260
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 aircraft (acft) had been inactive in outside storage since early 1989. The pilot purchased the acft & had an annual inspection performed, which was completed on 3/28/96. On 3/29/96, he & a flight instructor (CFI) took off on the 1st flight after the inspection. One engine began to run rough & lose power. The pilots turned back toward the airport, but before they reached the runway (rwy), the 2nd engine quit running. On short final, the 1st engine, which had been running rough, also quit running. There was insufficient altitude to reach the rwy; during touchdown short of the rwy, the acft was damaged. Maintenance records stated that during the annual inspection, new fuel lines were installed & both gascolators were cleaned & inspected. The recorded entry of annual inspection noted 'All fuel and oil lines checked, all accessories inspected.' During a postaccident inspection, rust colored deposits were found in both gascolators, & water was noted in the left gascolator bowl. Both gascolator screens were dark in appearance with water corrosion. Dark colored contamination was found in the left & right fuel servo inlet screens. The shaft of the left engine's left magneto had a wobble, & its drive coupling was cracked. The right engine's left magneto did not produce a spark, when tested. Also, contamination (oil & corrosion) were found inside the right engine's right magneto housing.

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

inadequate maintenance and inspection of the airplane; rust and water contamination in the aircraft fuel system; a worn shaft and cracked coupling in the left engine's left magneto, a malfunctioning left magneto on the right engine, and contamination (oil and corrosion) in the right magneto housing of the right engine; all of which resulted in loss of power in both engines and a subsequent forced landing.

Full narrative available

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