NTSB Identification: SEA02FA083.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 16, 2002 in Boise, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Grumman G-44, registration: N700BL
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.
The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, the right engine lost power. The pilot stated that he did not feather or secure the engine but concentrated on trying to maintain the single-engine airspeed while attempting to return to the airport. The aircraft was unable to maintain altitude and collided with trees, power lines, and a single-story residence, coming to rest on the roof. During the post-accident inspection of the right engine, the gascolator filter was found covered with metal flakes. A mass amount of the flakes were accumulated at the top end of the filter and blocking the fuel line. Visually and under magnification, the metal flakes varied in size and shape of which many were corkscrew in appearance. The fuel lines downstream of the filter contained a trace amount of fuel. The right side fuel tank was drained. The sump contained debris to include additional metal flakes, screws, washers and pink colored sealant material. The aircraft had just been signed off for the annual inspection. Several maintenance discrepancy items had been found and fixed prior to and after the sign-off. The pilot also reported that during the cross country flight, the right engine had a tendency to stall out below 1,000 rpm. The aircraft flight manual for the accident aircraft indicated in the Emergency Procedures section that if an engine failure occurs after the airplane is airborne, and single engine climb speed is attained, the inoperative engine should be feathered and secured. The single engine rate of climb chart indicated that for the given conditions at the time of the accident, the aircraft should have been able to maintain a positive rate of climb.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A blocked fuel line that resulted in fuel starvation to the engine and the pilot's failure to follow emergency procedures. A contamination of metal flakes on the fuel filter, and an inadequate annual inspection were factors. Full narrative available
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