NTSB Identification: LAX93FA282.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 07, 1993 in LA VERNE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/20/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-200, registration: N1392T
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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 FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR (CFI) SAID THAT DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB AND AFTER GEAR RETRACTION THE LEFT ENGINE LOST POWER. HE TOOK CONTROL AND FEATHERED THE LEFT PROP, BUT WAS UNABLE TO ESTABLISH A SINGLE-ENGINE RATE-OF-CLIMB. HE ATTEMPTED TO FLY THROUGH A LOW POINT IN HILLY TERRAIN, BUT THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH A POWER LINE AND CRASHED INTO A RAVINE. THE LANDING GEAR WAS FOUND IN THE EXTENDED AND LOCKED POSITION, AND A GROUND WITNESS SAW THE GEAR EXTENDED DURING THE FLIGHT. THE LEFT ENGINE FUEL FLOW DIVIDER WAS FOUND TO BE PARTIALLY PLUGGED WITH A GREY/WHITE MATERIAL (CONTAMINATION). LABORATORY ANALYSIS IDENTIFIED THE MATERIAL AS POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE (PET), A THERMOPLASTIC MATERIAL. ORIGIN OF THE CONTAMINATE WAS UNKNOWN. ACCORDING TO THE AIRCRAFT SINGLE ENGINE PERFORMANCE CHART, THE AIRPLANE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CLIMB AT ABOUT 150 FEET PER MINUTE. A PILOT-RATED PASSENGER IN THE REAR HEARD THE STALL HORN SOUNDING AFTER THE CFI TOOK CONTROL AND ATTEMPTED TO ESTABLISH A SINGLE-ENGINE CLIMB. VYSE IS 103 MPH AND VSO IS 73 MPH.

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

THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR'S FAILURE TO OBTAIN/MAINTAIN BEST THE SINGLE-ENGINE RATE-OF-CLIMB AIRSPEED, AND HIS FAILURE TO ENSURE THAT THE LANDING GEAR WAS RETRACTED. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS CONTAMINATION IN THE FUEL SYSTEM, WHICH BLOCKED FUEL FLOW THROUGH THE FLOW DIVIDER AND RESULTED IN FUEL STARVATION TO ONE ENGINE.

Full narrative available

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