NTSB Identification: ATL97LA078.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 20, 1997 in SPARTA, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N4105Q
Injuries: 6 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 experienced an in-flight fire in the left engine that was first noticed by the pilot upon touchdown in Sparta, Tennessee. The pilot and his five passengers safely evacuated the airplane, and then used a hand-held fire extinguisher to put out the fire. The airplane incurred substantial damage to the left engine, including a buckled firewall, melted fuel lines, and separated throttle and propeller cables. Further examination of the engine revealed that the fuel pump had a leak, possibly precipitated by faulty gasket material, which allowed the fuel to ignite when in contact with the heated engine. A Service Bulletin has been released by the pump manufacturer urging close inspection of the attaching screws.

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

A fire in the left engine started by a leak in the fuel pump.

Full narrative available

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