NTSB Identification: FTW98LA038.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 01, 1997 in GALVESTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N40201
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After takeoff, at about 250 to 300 feet AGL, the right engine lost partial power, followed by the left engine. The pilot made a wide left turn toward a small field with trees in front, and retracted the landing gear. During the forced landing, the pilot 'intentionally' hit the trees in order to slow down and go under some power lines. After going under the wires, the airplane came to a stop in the field. The airplane had not been flown for about two years, and the pilot was to ferry the aircraft for the owner from Galveston, TX, to Colorado Springs, CO. A mechanic at the Scholes Field Airport in Galveston prepared the airplane for the flight and obtained a ferry permit from the FAA. The mechanic reported that the fuel tanks were drained and visually inspected. About one gallon of water was drained from the tanks, and both fuel filters were cleaned. The mechanic also reported that rained had fallen on the day before the accident flight. Examination of the fuel filters revealed that they were both clogged with debris.

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

inadequate maintenance and/or preflight inspection of the airplane, and subsequent blockage of the fuel filters, which led to fuel starvation, partial loss of engine power in both engines, and a forced landing. A related factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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