NTSB Identification: CHI99LA357.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 30, 1999 in GREENFIELD, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-31, registration: CGHOL
Injuries: 7 Uninjured.

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

A loss of power was experienced on both engines during the initial takeoff climb. The airplane was substantially damaged during the forced landing in a plowed corn field. Post accident inspection revealed the airplane had been refueled with 101.5 gallons of Jet A fuel instead of 100LL fuel. The FBO employee who refueled the airplane reported using a rubberized adapter to get the fuel nozzle to fit into the inlet. He reported the captain did not specify what type of fuel should be added to the airplane, only the quantity. The captain did not drain the fuel tanks during the aircraft preflight nor did he notice the smell of Jet A when he visually inspected the fuel quantity in the main fuel tanks prior to takeoff. The first officer, who signed for payment of the fuel, did not notice the type of fuel added which was noted on the Master Receipt and the invoice.

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

the FBO employee improperly refueled the airplane with Jet A fuel instead of 100LL and the inadequate preflight by the pilot-in-command in that he failed to drain the fuel tanks during the preflight. Factors related to the accident were the low altitude at which the loss of power took place and the rough terrain on which the forced landing was made.

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