NTSB Identification: FTW90FA077.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43562.
Accident occurred Sunday, March 04, 1990 in FABENS, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/17/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-180, registration: N5354P
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

AFTER LIFTOFF, THE AIRPLANE APPEARED TO STOP CLIMBING AT ABOUT 90-100 FT AGL; ITS WINGS ROCKED SIDE-TO-SIDE, AND IT THEN PITCHED NOSE DOWN INTO THE GROUND. THE ENGINE WAS HEARD UNTIL IMPACT. MIXTURE CONTROL FOUND IN FULL RICH POSITION; DENSITY ALTITUDE APRX 5,000 FT. OIL STAIN FOUND NEAR PROP GOVERNOR; AD 90-04-06 AND LYCOMING SB NO. 488, PROP GOV LINE & ELBOW FITTING, NCW. ENGINE TEARDOWN SHOWED PROP GOV SCREEN BLOCKED WITH NUMEROUS CONTAMINANTS; METALLIC FLAKES ON OIL FILTER; CARB BODY DIRTY; CARB FLOAT ATTACH PIN WORN; PLUGS SHOWED RICH FUEL CONDITION; MAG TIMING 3 DEG OFF; INTAKE/EXHAUST ROCKER ARMS IMPROPERLY INSTALLED; PISTON RINGS WORN BEYOND LIFE LIMITS; NO.2 CYL TOP RING BROKEN; NUMEROUS ROD CAPS & BEARINGS INSTALLED BACKWARDS; ALL CRANK PINS WORN BEYOND SERVICE LIMITS; ALL MAIN BEARINGS WORN BEYOND SERVICE LIMITS. SERIAL NUMBER ON DATA PLATE DID NOT MATCH CASE NUMBER OF THE ENGINE. AIRPLANE WAS PURCHASED 1/23/90 BY THE PILOT.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED DURING A TAKEOFF WITH LESS THAN FULL POWER RESULTING IN A STALL. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO LEAN THE MIXTURE TO COMPENSATE FOR THE HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE, AND THE GROSS IMPROPER, INADEQUATE MAINTENANCE THAT HAD BEEN PERFORMED ON THE ENGINE RESULTING IN AN UNAIRWORTHY ENGINE.

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