NTSB Identification: CHI01TA063.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 10, 2001 in GRIFFITH, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-23, registration: N200WH
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported all four fuel tanks were topped off with fuel. The pilot reported that during start-up he "switched fuel selectors from inboard tanks to outboard tanks and noted that the fuel gauges registered empty. …I then recycled the fuel control valves, even though they were hard to move since they were setting out in the 15 degree weather, and got a full reading on both gauges." The pilot reported that the takeoff procedure was normal and that all gauges were normal prior to rotation. He reported, "Within seconds of rotation, I experienced what I think was a loss of both engines. …With no time to spare, since I was losing altitude, I initiated a turn to avoid damage to life and property in the vicinity of the take off path." The pilot had received his multi-engine land rating on November 8, 2000, and had a total of 31 hours of multi-engine experience, all flown in the accident airplane. The inspection of the airplane revealed flight control continuity to all control surfaces. The left wing inboard and outboard fuel tanks had been compromised. No fuel was found in the left wing gascolator. Fuel was observed in the right wing inboard tank. The right outboard tank was compromised and contained no fuel. The right gascolator contained fuel and dirty brown water contamination. The left and right propeller blades exhibited minor bending. No preexisting anomalies were observed from the left or right engine that would preclude normal operation.

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

The unsuitable terrain for landing encountered by the pilot. Factors included the loss of power for undetermined reasons and the rough terrain.

Full narrative available

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