NTSB Identification: NYC87FA240.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 37728.
Accident occurred Friday, August 28, 1987 in KINGS POINT, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/03/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28RT-201T, registration: N3025W
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

N3025W DEPARTED ON A FERRY FLIGHT WITH AN UNSECURED, TEMPORARILY INSTALLED FUSELAGE FUEL TANK. A COMPUTED C.G. AT TAKEOFF SHOWED THE AIRCRAFT ABOUT .9 INCHES AFT OF THE AFT LIMIT. THE AIRCRAFT HAD CLIMBED TO 7000 FEET WHEN THE CONTROLLER SAW THE AIRCRAFT MAKING ERRATIC TURNS. THE PILOT SAID 'WE HAVE PROBLEMS.' THERE WERE NO FURTHER COMMUNICATIONS WITH N3025W. THE AIRCRAFT SUBSEQUENTLY BROKE-UP IN FLIGHT. THE FORECAST THE PILOT RECEIVED INCLUDED MODERATE TURBULENCE AND RAINSHOWERS. THE FERRY TANK INSTALLATION HAD NOT BEEN APPROVED. THE PILOT WAS NEW TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND REPORTEDLY DID NOT KNOW HOW TO WORK THE FERRY TANK SYSTEM. THE TAKEOFF POSITION OF THE FERRY TANK WAS ESTIMATED. IT HAD BEEN PUSHING OUT THE FUSELAGE BAGGAGE DOOR AND HAD TO BE PUSHED BACK IN AFTER BEING FILLED. IT WAS CONSIDERED LIKELY THAT THE UNSECURED TANK WOULD HAVE MIGRATED, CHANGING THE C.G. IN FLIGHT, ALTERING LONGITUDINAL CONTROL FORCES, AND CAUSING PITCH CONTROL PROBLEMS IN TURBULENCE.

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

DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF AIRCRAFT..EXCEEDED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AIRCRAFT WEIGHT AND BALANCE..MISJUDGED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

MAINTENANCE,INSTALLATION..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..TURBULENCE





Contributing Factors

FUEL SYSTEM,TANK..LOOSE

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