NTSB Identification: MIA00LA007.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 15, 1999 in LEBANON, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N3013C
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

After takeoff about 75 feet agl, the engine experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot landed the airplane on the remaining runway and collided with trees, separating the right wing. Post accident examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the gascolator bowl was loose and fuel leakage was noted at the gascolator when the auxiliary fuel pump was turned on. The threaded portion of the bail wire P/N 494 644, was noted to have 2 1/2 failed threads near the top. The gascolator was bypassed, the engine was started and found to operate normally. During the last annual inspection, the gascolator seal was replaced. It was reported by the pilot that on the first takeoff following the annual inspection, the engine experienced a loss of power in an identical manner; an uneventful landing occurred. Following the uneventful landing, the mechanic who performed the annual inspection and the pilot noted that the gascolator seal was not seated properly. A rubber gascolator seal was installed to replace the cork type seal that had been installed during the annual inspection. The airplane had accumulated approximately 3 hours since the annual inspection at the time of the accident.

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

The inadequate annual inspection of the airplane by the mechanic for his failure to note that the threaded portion of the bail wire had 2 1/2 failed threads which resulted in the inability to keep the gascolator bowl tightly secured. Also his failure to note this condition during replacement of the gascolator seal following a similar loss of engine power on the first takeoff following the annual inspection which was performed approximately 3 hours earlier. A contributing factor to the accident was the unsuitable terrain encountered by the pilot during the forced landing.

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