NTSB Identification: FTW01LA067.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 03, 2001 in New Orleans, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: British Aerospace HS.125-700A, registration: N190WC
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

The pilot-in-command (PIC) stated that they were flying at 4,000 feet msl over Lake Pontchartrain when the flight crew heard a bang. The pilots thought that they had experienced a bird strike, and they landed uneventfully at New Orleans. Post flight examination of the left wing revealed that the left wing's fuel vent was blocked with duct tape, and the wet wing fuel tank had collapsed. The fuel tank stringers and the wing ribs sustained structural damage. The PIC stated that the fuel tanks had been repaired and pressure tested prior to the flight. The PIC added that after the pressure test, the mechanic, who repaired the fuel tank, removed the tape from the right wing's fuel vent; however, both the mechanic and the flight crew failed to notice the duct tape over the left wing's fuel vent. The flight crew stated that there were no streamers or markers present to indicate that the fuel tank vent was covered with duct tape.

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

the pilot-in-command's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in a flight with a blocked fuel tank vent. A contributing factor was maintenance personnel's failure to remove the tape covering the fuel tank vent following a pressure test.

Full narrative available

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