NTSB Identification: ATL90FA110.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41663.
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 08, 1990 in HILTON HEAD, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N9538J
Injuries: 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.

SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, THE ENGINE LOST POWER AND THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TERRAIN ABOUT 1/4 MILE FROM THE RUNWAY. THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE HANDLE WAS FOUND IN THE 'OFF' POSITION. PIPER SERVICE BULLETIN NO. 840, WHICH INCORPORATED A NEW FUEL SELECTOR VALVE COVER AND MATING HANDLE (TO PRECLUDE INADVERTENT SELECTION OF THE 'OFF' POSITION) WAS NOT COMPLIED WITH. THE PILOT HAD LOGGED ONLY 1.2 HOURS IN THIS MAKE AND MODEL PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. INSPECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT AND ENGINE DID NOT REVEAL ANY EVIDENCE OF INFLIGHT MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE.

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

THE PILOT'S MISMANAGEMENT OF THE FUEL SYSTEM THROUGH INADVERTANT SELECTION OF THE 'OFF' POSITION OF THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE HANDLE.

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