NTSB Identification: MIA02FA162.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 01, 2002 in Greeneville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Gulfstream American AA-5A, registration: N9807U
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
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.
Witnesses reported observing the pilot repeatedly trying to start the engine for several minutes, and stated that after at least 5 minutes the engine started but immediately ceased operating. The witnesses further stated that the pilot then exited the airplane, did something to the engine, and then got back in the airplane and it started. It would not idle normally and required a higher power setting in order for it to remain operating. A witness said that the pilot maintained a high power setting to keep the engine operating, and taxied for takeoff. The witness further stated that he was about 50 to 75 feet away and he could hear the engine "struggling" to operate. During initial climb after takeoff, other witnesses reported hearing the airplane and stated that they heard three loud noises, each sounding like a "backfire", and after the last backfire there was silence. One witness reported looking up and seeing the propeller not rotating, and all witnesses said they saw the airplane enter a turn. They said there was no engine noise, and the airplane glided while turning as if to return to land at the airport, but they last sight of it as it descended below the trees. After the airplane disappeared from sight below the trees the witnesses stated that there was a loud "boom" and they saw smoke billow up in the air. Examination of the accident scene showed that the airplane struck trees and descended, impacting the ground, about 0.5 mile from the center of the airport, north of the departure end of runway 05. The airplane had come apart as it impacted the trees and the ground and a postcrash fire had ensued. The pilot received fatal injuries. Examination of the airframe, the flight controls and the engine did not reveal any pre-accident anomalies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons and the pilot's decision to continue flight with a known equipment deficiency. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed which resulted in a stall. Full narrative available
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