NTSB Identification: ATL97FA021.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 01, 1996 in FITZGERALD, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-31ATC, registration: N123SS
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 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.

The pilot could not recall the accident flight and there were no impact witnesses. He stated it was misting rain during loading & engine run-up. He also noted a weather front moving in from the north, and clear to the southeast. Relatives helped load the airplane, watched it depart, then drove to Florida. After an unknown elapsed time, an ear witness heard fluctuating engine sounds followed by an impact. He found the airplane south of runway 19. The airplane had impacted in a steep left wing & nose down attitude. Subsequent investigation revealed the intake air box alternate air door broken loose. A fresh fracture was evident on the door hinge. The spark plugs were sooted. The fuel injection system tested within limits.

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

A loss of engine power due to the blockage of the intake manifold of the induction air system, by the broken alternate air door, and the loss of aircraft control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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