NTSB Identification: LAX87LA182.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 35412.
Accident occurred Sunday, April 19, 1987 in LINCOLN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/1988
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N15259
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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.

THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH A DITCH AFTER A LOSS OF PWR DURING T/O CLIMB AT APRX 350 TO 400 FT AGL. THE PLT DESCRIBED THE LOSS OF PWR AS 'LIKE TAKING THE THROTTLE AND PULLING OFF IN A RAPID MOTION.' HE NOTICED DURING HIS PREFLT CHECK THAT THE FUEL IN THE RIGHT MAIN TANK (RMT) WAS LIGHTER BLUE IN COLOR THAN THAT OF THE LEFT MAIN TANK (LMT). HE TOOK 2 SAMPLES FROM THE RMT DURING THE PREFLT AND DURING THE ENG RUN-UP, RAN THE ENG 5 ADD MIN UNTIL ALL THE GAUGES WERE 'IN THE GREEN.' THE ACFT TOOK OFF WITH THE FUEL SELECTOR IN THE RMT POSITION. THE PLT ATTEMPTED A RESTART WHILE EXECUTING A 180 DEGREE TURN TO RETURN TO THE AIRPORT. HE INDICATED THAT HE SWITCHED THE FUEL SELECTOR FROM THE RMT TO THE LMT AND CHECKED THAT THE FUEL BOOST PUMP WAS STILL ON. THE RMT WAS RUPTURED AS RESULT OF THE IMPACT AND ALL THE FUEL ESCAPED INTO THE DITCH. THE ENG WAS EXAMINED AND THERE WERE NO INDICATIONS OF MECHANICAL FAILURE.

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

REASON FOR OCCURRENCE UNDETERMINED



Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..DITCH

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