NTSB Identification: LAX01FA271.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 05, 2001 in Palmdale, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 336, registration: N3838U
Injuries: 1 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.

The airplane experienced a loss of engine power in the aft engine and collided with a guardrail during an off-airport emergency landing on a highway. The pilot flew the airplane earlier that afternoon with no mechanical discrepancies noted. After takeoff and leveling off at 4,500 feet, the pilot thought he noticed a loss of engine power in both engines because he was unable to maintain altitude. A forced landing was performed on a highway and the airplane went through a guardrail. A post accident examination revealed the primers were left unlocked with the aft engine primer pulled out approximately 1 inch. Black sooty deposits were discovered on the rear engine spark plugs. The primer is as an optional feature to assist in cold weather operations.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection of the primer controls, resulting in excessive fuel flow, spark plug fouling, and loss of engine power in the aft engine.

Full narrative available

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