NTSB Identification: ATL01LA014.
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Accident occurred Monday, November 27, 2000 in MERRITT ISLAND, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/19/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-180, registration: N4914J
Injuries: 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.

According to the pilot, this was his second flight of the day. He taxied to runway 29 and departed to the west. He said he noted nothing out of the ordinary on takeoff or climb out until reaching about 500 feet when the engine cowling separated from the airplane. The cowling broke off a piece of the right windscreen, spun off and hit the baggage door and finally collided with the stabilator. Examination of the upper cowling revealed that three of the four fastener assembly studs were missing. A review of the airplane maintenance logs revealed that the cowling had been removed to service the hydraulic brakes on November 17, 2000 about 7 flight hours before the mishap.

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

Maintenance personnel failure to properly install engine cowling fasteners, which allowed the engine cowling to separate in flight.

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