NTSB Identification: MIA97LA072.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 24, 1997 in INDIANTOWN, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Navion G, registration: N2417T
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 pilot stated that he performed an engine run-up before departure with no discrepancies noted. After takeoff during the initial climb about 300 feet above ground level after retracting the landing gear, the engine experienced a sudden and complete loss of engine power. The pilot maneuvered the airplane to the right to avoid hangars and while descending, the airplane first collided with trees then the ground. Post accident examination of the fuel delivery and vent systems revealed no evidence of blockage. The fuel selector was in the 'main' tank detent with sufficient fuel and no contaminants noted. The gascolator was drained and found to contain only 3-4 tablespoons of fuel with no contaminants noted. The magneto switch and electrically operated auxiliary fuel pump operationally checked good post crash. The engine was removed and after replacement of impact damaged components, was started and found to operate normally using the engine driven fuel pump. No determination could be made as to the reason for the total loss of engine power. Follow-up investigation approximately 2 1/2 years after the accident determined the engine driven fuel pump was disassembled after the successful engine run. Airworthiness Directive (AD) 93-16-15 with an effective date of September 27, 1993, requiring replacement of the installed fuel pump drive coupling within 30 hours time in service from the effective date, was not complied with by the IA at the last annual inspection (May 1996); no entry was made indicating the AD was due in 30 hours. No annual inspections were performed and the airplane was not operated between the effective date of the AD and the May 1996, inspection. The AD was generated due to finding mechanical damage to the end of the drive couplings in seven engine driven fuel pumps, this condition was not evident in the accident fuel pump drive coupling. The airplane had accumulated approximately 38 hours time in service since the last annual inspection; 15.5 of which were by the accident pilot.

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

Total loss of engine power due to undetermined reasons. Contributing to the accident was the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing. Findings of the follow-up investigation were 1) The airplane had not been operated and no annual inspections were performed between the effective date of Airworthiness Directive 93-16-15 and the date of the last annual inspection (May 1996), 2) AD 93-16-15 requiring replacement of the installed fuel pump drive coupling was not complied with by the IA at the last annual inspection and no entry was made in the maintenance records indicating compliance required within 30 hours time in service, 3) the pilot unknowingly operated the airplane approximately 8 hours past the 30 hour compliance time specified by the AD, and 4) the reason for the AD (mechanical damage to the fuel pump drive coupling), was not present in the accident fuel pump drive coupling.

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