NTSB Identification: SEA02FA023.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 02, 2002 in Boise, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/04/2002
Aircraft: Beech 58P, registration: N132Z
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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.

Shortly after takeoff for an after maintenance test flight, the pilot noted a fire in the left engine. The pilot reduced power and landed the aircraft on the remaining runway without further incident. The engine and systems were shut down prior to the pilot and passenger evacuating the aircraft. Fire personnel responded and applied a small amount of foam on the engine, which was at the time, only smoking. Inspection of the engine revealed that the fire was contained to the accessory section of the engine. Heat distress was found to the outboard nacelle web assembly and the top wing skin under the nacelle was warped. Further inspection found that an electrical arc in the alternator wiring due to chafing against a pneumatic tube was responsible for the ignition of the fire. Accumulated fuel vapor from a fuel cell leak that was an on-going maintenance discrepancy for approximately three weeks preceding the accident, and eventually fixed, was most probable the source of the fuel.

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

Improper clearance between an alternator wire and a pneumatic line and fuel fumes. The alternator wire chafe and arcing were factors.

Full narrative available

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