NTSB Identification: DEN01FA090.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 26, 2001 in FORT COLLINS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/20/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-39, registration: N8984Y
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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.

According to the pilot, take-off was normal, the airplane rotated at 95 mph, accelerated to 110 mph. During the initial climb, and at approximately 150 feet above ground level (agl), the left engine lost power and "quit." The pilot attempted to restart the left engine, but before he could, the right engine lost power and "quit." The pilot conducted a forced landing in a open field just north of the runway. Following touch down, the aircraft slid across two railroad tracks, impacted a ditch, struck a power pole and spun 90 degrees to the left, coming to rest on a city street. Examination of the left engine compartment found that the alternate air door was stuck in the open position, corrosion was present on the actuating cable and the cable end was broken. Examination of the right engine compartment found the alternate air door was separated from its mounting rivets and was lodged in the alternate air box, completely covering the inlet on the fuel injector servo. The pilot stated that when they arrived in Fort Collins on April 24, he had the aircraft fuel tanks topped off. According to the Fort Collins Downtown Airport daily fuel record sheet for April 24, 2001, N8984Y, received 61.8 gallons of 100 low lead fuel. An examination of the remaining fuel in the airplane, and the fuel in the refueling truck, provided no evidence of fuel contamination. Six other aircraft were serviced and refueled the same day with no reported problems. A sample of an unknown substance/debris found in the left main fuel tank gascolator, was sent it to SEM-EDAX for spectra-analysis. SEM-EDAX analyzed the substance/debris and identified it as silica sand.

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

the loss of right engine power on take-off as a result of the separation of the right engine's alternate air door, which lodged in the fuel servo air inlet. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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