NTSB Identification: FTW97LA309.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 27, 1997 in MONROE, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Beech F33A, registration: N234PM
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.

According to the pilot, he had 'picked up' his airplane that morning after an annual inspection. He reported that he flew home to Delhi for a short stop, then proceeded to the Monroe Airport for some avionics repairs. After the work was completed, he departed for Delhi. During departure, at about 2000 ft agl and 5 miles from the departure airport, the pilot 'detected an odor similar to an electrical burnout.' He stated that he detected no onboard problems and decided the smell was coming from outside. He reported that approximately 45 seconds later, a flame ignited from behind the fuel selector valve. He stated that he 'immediately did a 180 degree turn and attempted to get Monroe approach on the radio,' but the radios were inoperable. The pilot reported that on short final approach for landing, 'I opened the passenger door and fortunately this snuffed out the flame.' After landing, maintenance personnel found two loose wires next to a hole in the fuel line and 'gasoline was running out of the fuselage onto the ramp.' The carry through spar had to be replaced due to thermal damage.

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

an electrical short, which burned a hole in a fuel line, and subsequent fire from the burning fuel.

Full narrative available

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