NTSB Identification: LAX02LA022.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 03, 2001 in Avalon, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-260, registration: N3516W
Injuries: 3 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.

The airplane sank in the Pacific Ocean after the pilot ditched the airplane following a complete loss of engine power. The pilot reported that he conducted a preflight inspection, took off, and was departing the traffic pattern when the engine started to "flutter" and make "loud metal to metal sounds." The pilot attempted to return the airplane to the departure airport, but was unable. The pilot ditched the airplane in the ocean as close to a boat as possible. A small boat then picked up the pilot and his passengers. Due to the fact that the airplane and engine were not recovered, the reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

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

the total loss of engine power during departure climb for undetermined reasons.

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