NTSB Identification: ATL91LA078.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44274.
Accident occurred Monday, April 08, 1991 in THOMASTON, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/24/1993
Aircraft: LEWIS CHALLENGER II, registration: N283EL
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

N283EL WAS THE THIRD AIRPLANE OF A FLIGHT OF THREE. THE OTHER AIRPLANES CLIMBED OUT WITHOUT INCIDENT, BUT AS N283EL STARTED ITS CLIMB, REPORTEDLY THE ENGINE LOST POWER. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THE PILOT APPEARED TO HAVE STARTED A LEFT TURN AND CRASHED 180 DEGREES FROM THE TAKEOFF HEADING ON THE PARALLEL TAXIWAY. DURING THE WRECKAGE EXAMINATION WATER WAS FOUND IN THE CARBURETOR BOWL AND THE SPARK PLUGS WERE FOULED. THE PILOT HAD PREVIOUSLY REPORTED A ROUGH RUNNING ENGINE, BUT LATER REPORTED THAT THE PROBLEM HAD BEEN CORRECTED. ACCORDING TO THE OPERATIONAL LIMITATION FOR THE AIRPLANE, A CONDITIONAL INSPECTION IS REQUIRED ANNUALLY. THERE WAS NO RECORD OF A COMPLETED CONDITIONAL INSPECTION SINCE THE AIRPLANE WAS CERTIFICATED IN 1988. SUFFICIENT RUNWAY WAS AVAILABLE FOR A FORCED LANDING.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN THE AIRPLANE IN ACCORDANCE WITH PRESCRIBED PROCEDURES WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL CONTAMINATION, FOULED SPARK PLUGS, AND A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. THE PILOT ALSO FAILED TO FOLLOW NORMAL EMERGENCY PROCEDURES FOR THE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER AFTER LIFTOFF AND STALLED THE AIRPLANE.

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