NTSB Identification: ATL90LA174.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42114.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 22, 1990 in PALMETTO, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-151, registration: N44678
Injuries: 2 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.

DURING PREFLIGHT, THE PILOT OBSERVED A VIBRATION AFTER ENGINE START. HE ASSUMED HE HAD A FOULED SPARK PLUG AND LEANED THE MIXTURE. HE THEN SHUT DOWN THE ENGINE. AFTER RE-START, HE STATED THAT THE VIBRATION HAD CEASED. AT ABOUT 25 FEET AGL ON INITIAL CLIMBOUT, THE ENGINE SUDDENLY LOST POWER. THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH SOME POWER LINES AND A TRAILER PRIOR TO IMPACTING TERRAIN. AN INSPECTION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED A STUCK NUMBER TWO EXHAUST VALVE. A WITNESS ON THE GROUND STATED THAT HE HEARD A 'HISSING' NOISE COMING FROM THE ENGINE DURING THE PREFLIGHT GROUND RUN. HE ALSO REPORTED THAT THE PILOT PERFORMED BETWEEN FOUR AND SIX MAGNETO CHECKS PRIOR TO TAKEOFF.

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

THE NUMBER TWO CYLINDER EXHAUST VALVE STICKING IN THE CLOSED POSITION, WHICH RESULTED IN A PARTIAL POWER LOSS DURING THE TAKEOFF. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S IMPROPER PREFLIGHT INSPECTION, IN THAT HE DID NOT CORRECTLY ANALYZE THE ENGINE PROBLEM PRIOR TO FLIGHT.

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