NTSB Identification: CHI02LA019.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 04, 2001 in Phillips, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-301T, registration: N82813
Injuries: 5 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 sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power during takeoff. The pilot and four passengers were uninjured. The pilot purchased 42 gallons of fuel. He said, "During initial climbout I noted a change in exhaust noise, and the engine began running rough. The engine was running rough, but still developing enough power to execute a shallow, climbing, left turn, providing me the opportunity to use the airport environment behind me for a landing. On a wide left downwind for runway 19, at approximately 250 ft. AGL, the engine ceased developing power. I chose a touchdown point in the field on the runway environment immediately south of runway 06/24. The field was cut grass, but soft, wet, and rutted. During the rollout the nosegear and the left main gear collapsed." The airplane was equipped with an engine monitor. The monitor recorded a fuel flow between 10.2 and 13.5 gallons per hour and used .5 gallons during the run up. During start of the takeoff, the monitor recorded .9 gallons of fuel used. The monitor's last six takeoff entries showed the aircraft used 1.7 gallons of fuel. The engine was test run and no anomalies were found. The mechanic who repaired the aircraft stated, "During repairs to the above referenced aircraft, we discovered that the fuel selector lever would go past the selected fuel tank detent. Upon further investigation, the 'off' stop was not operating properly." The PA-32-301T's POH stated, "ENGINE POWER LOSS DURING TAKEOFF ... If sufficient altitude has been gained to attempt a restart: Maintain safe airspeed Fuel selector...switch to tank containing fuel, Electric fuel pump...check on, Mixture...check RICH, Alternate air...OPEN, ... 3.9 ENGINE POWER LOSS DURING TAKEOFF ... If engine failure was caused by fuel exhaustion, power will not be regained after switching fuel tanks until the empty fuel lines are filled. This may require up to ten seconds."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The fuel starvation encountered on takeoff and unsuitable terrain the pilot encountered during the forced landing. A factor was the fuel selector valve malfunction. Full narrative available
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