NTSB Identification: MIA99FA224.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 13, 1999 in PEMBROKE PINES, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N754AR
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 accident airplane was parked for an undetermined number of days with less than full fuel tanks. The day of the accident, 37.5 gallons of fuel were added before departure. A pilot-rated witness reported that shortly after takeoff, the airplane was lower than expected near the departure end of the runway; the wings were rocking and the airplane was 'floaty'. A witness across the street from the crash site who is an automobile mechanic reported the engine was missing/stalling, the angle of bank increased to 90 degrees before the airplane descended and crashed into a house located in a residential area east of the airport. Examination of the flight controls and engine power section revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction; the carburetor was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire. Testing of the fuel source revealed no contamination. The sealing surface on the right fuel tank was corrosion pitted. The fuel selector was found approximately 1/2 way on the 'left' position; no damage to the shaft was noted. Fuel starvation approximately 25-30 seconds after full power applied to a 180 horsepower engine with the fuel selector positioned approximately as found was noted during testing. Marijuana and antidepressant medication were detected in blood specimen of the pilot, contrary to federal regulations.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed and inadvertent stall of the airplane by the pilot-in-command resulting in the uncontrolled descent and in-flight collision with a house. Contributing factors in the accident were the loss of engine power due to undetermined reasons, the operation of the airplane by the pilot-in-command under the influence of marijuana contrary to federal regulations, and the unsuitable terrain encountered after takeoff. A finding in the investigation was the operation of the airplane by the pilot-in-command contrary to federal regulations for his use of antidepressant medication which he was warned against.

Full narrative available

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