NTSB Identification: MIA97LA134.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 10, 1997 in QUINCY, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1997
Aircraft: Navion A, registration: N40FL
Injuries: 1 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 airplane was on a test flight after completion of an annual inspection. The pilot stated that shortly after takeoff, he first smelled an electrical fire, then felt heat on his legs. He remained in the pattern and landed. After exiting the airplane, a fire erupted in the cockpit area. Bystanders used water to help extinguish the fire. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed electrical arching on the firewall from a cable that went through the firewall. The electrical cable was routed from the battery relay (aft of the aft seat) to the starter relay, which was on the upper right section of the firewall. The mechanic, who performed the inspection, used the manufacturers checklist. Reportedly, no work had been performed on the instrument panel.

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

chafing of an electrical cable that was routed through the firewall, which resulted in electrical arching and an in-flight fire.

Full narrative available

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