NTSB Identification: ATL91FA099.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45053.
Accident occurred Monday, May 27, 1991 in SURF SIDE BEACH, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/08/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N6634W
Injuries: 2 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 FLIGHT DEPARTED THE 4000 FOOT SOD RUNWAY 22 AT THE PRIVATE AIRFIELD IN SURF SIDE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA. THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO TALL TREES FOUR TENTH'S OF A MILE OFF THE DEPARTURE END OF THE RUNWAY. WITNESSES STATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT HAD ATTEMPTED TO TAKEOFF PREVIOUSLY, HAD ABORTED THE TAKEOFF, AND RETURNED TO THE EXTREME END OF THE RUNWAY PRIOR TO THIS TAKEOFF ATTEMPT. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE AIRCRAFT FUEL SELECTOR WAS IN THE 'OFF' POSITION. NO FUEL WAS FOUND IN THE AIRCRAFT GASOLATOR OR CARBURETOR AT THE ACCIDENT SITE. FURTHER INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT FUEL WOULD NOT PASS THROUGH THE SELECTOR VALVE IN THE 'OFF' POSITION UNTIL THE ELECTRIC FUEL BOOST PUMP WAS TURNED 'ON'. A TEST RUN OF THE AIRCRAFT ENGINE REVEALED THAT WITH THE ELECTRIC FUEL BOOST IN THE 'ON' POSITION, AND THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE IN THE 'OFF' POSITION, THE AIRCRAFT ENGINE WOULD START AND OPERATE AT LOW POWER SETTINGS.

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

THE IMPROPER PREFLIGHT INSPECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT BY THE PILOT, IN THAT HE FAILED TO TURN THE AIRCRAFT FUEL SELECTOR 'ON' PRIOR TO STARTING THE ENGINE. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE AIRCRAFT FUEL SELECTOR VALVE LEAKING ENOUGH FUEL TO THE ENGINE IN THE 'OFF' POSITION TO RUN THE ENGINE AT LOW POWER SETTING.

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