NTSB Identification: SEA96FA094.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 15, 1996 in PROVO, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 320A, registration: N600JR
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.

The owner and flight instructor were advised by a ramp service agent of a fuel leak coming from the underside of the right engine after starting the left engine. The left engine was shut down and one of the pilots examined the leak and then re-entered the aircraft. The aircraft's left engine was then restarted followed by the right engine, and then the aircraft was taxied out for takeoff. The first takeoff was aborted for undetermined reasons. The aircraft then departed. Approximately 40 minutes later a radio transmission from the aircraft indicated an engine fire. The aircraft was witnessed diving toward the surface of Utah Lake and then skipping over the water before disappearing in a plume of spray. The aircraft crashed approximately two miles northwest of the Provo Municipal airport in 12 feet of water. Postcrash examination revealed an extensive fire in the right engine accessory area and aft into the wing locker area. Metallurgical examination of the right engine exhaust manifold components revealed erosion, oxidization, pitting, cracking and holes in areas of the exhaust tubing.

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

A fuel leak most probably ignited by hot exhaust gases from the leaking right engine manifold exhaust system, the decision by the pilots to operate the aircraft with knowledge of the fuel leak, and the pilot-in-command's failure to maintain adequate clearance with the lake surface.

Full narrative available

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