NTSB Identification: CHI93FA161.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 05, 1993 in PAOLI, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N2487T
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.

THE STUDENT PILOT OPERATING HIS OWN AIRPLANE WAS EN ROUTE TO TAKE A DUAL FLYING LESSON WHEN HE EXPEREIENCED A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. INITIALLY HE SET UP FOR A FORCED LANDING; HOWEVER, THE ENGINE REGAINED POWER AND HE INITIATED A CLIMB ABOUT THE TIME A SECOND POWER LOSS WAS SUFFERED. THE AIRPLANE DEPARTED CONTROLLED FLIGHT AND IMPACTED THE TERRAIN. SUBSEQUENT EXAMINATION FOUND A CONTAMINATED FUEL SYSTEM. THE STUDENT'S INSTRUCTOR STATED THAT HE HAD NEVER OBSERVED THE STUDENT DRAINING SUMPS. A NON-RATED MECHANIC WHO WORKED ON THE AIRPLANE TWICE WHEN THE COMPLAINT WAS A ROUGH RUNNING ENGINE, DID NOT DRAIN THE FUEL SUMPS.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT PREPARATIONS AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRSPEED. FACTORS WERE THE INSTRUCTOR'S INADEQUATE TRAINING OF THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND, UNQUALIFIED MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL'S INADEQUATE INSPECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT AND THE CONTAMINATED FUEL.

Full narrative available

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