NTSB Identification: NYC98LA045.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 18, 1997 in SKIDMORE, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N9418N
Injuries: 1 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 airplane was in cruise flight at 7,500 feet with the engine producing satisfactory power. The pilot said the engine slowly and smoothly lost power over a 10-15 second duration. The engine completely lost power over an unlighted rural area and the pilot struck trees and collided with terrain during the subsequent forced landing. Examination of aircraft records revealed the engine and the fuel control were overhauled by their respective manufacturers and the engine was installed 2 weeks prior to the accident. The engine had accumulated 14.6 hours since overhaul. Examination of the engine revealed no mechanical deficiencies. Examination of the fuel control servo revealed that a lock nut was no longer installed. The initial flow tests revealed a flow rate equivalent to idle cut off. When a test nut was installed, the unit flowed 'perfectly.' When questioned about the performance of the fuel servo and the engine with the outer nut no longer installed in the servo, the Inspector stated, 'Basically, what it does is it shuts off the fuel when that nut backs off. It's just like pulling it to idle cut off.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: an improper overhaul of the fuel servo by the manufacturer, which resulted in the loss of engine power. Factors in the accident were the dark night conditions and rough forced landing terrain. Full narrative available
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