NTSB Identification: LAX99FA001.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, October 01, 1998 in PALM SPRINGS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2000
Aircraft: Aero Commander 680 FPL, registration: N5YZ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While departing on a local area aircraft checkout flight the aircraft stayed low and the pilot advised the tower that he had a fuel problem. The aircraft had been fueled with aviation grade 100LL twice the day before in preparation for a trip. The pilot attempted to return to the airport, but collided with power lines 1.5 miles north. Examination of the engines revealed severe detonation had occurred. A fuel sample was obtained from the aircraft and tested negative for jet fuel contamination. The aircraft had been modified by installation of higher horsepower engines and turbochargers with manual wastegates. During postaccident examination of the aircraft systems the manual wastegates were found partially closed; a position that can provide additional manifold pressure. The engines are restricted to a maximum of 29.5 inHg.

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

The pilot's failure to properly use the manual turbocharger wastegates and to monitor the manifold pressure during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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