NTSB Identification: MIA03LA028.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 15, 2002 in Laurens, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N12MB
Injuries: 4 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 pilot stated that he reached an altitude of 7,000 feet and leveled the airplane, when all of a sudden he felt a slight bump, and the engine immediately lost all power. He performed emergency procedures, but the engine did not regain power. While performing emergency procedures, he said he noticed fuel streaming from the area of the cowling, aft toward the windshield, so he committed himself to making a forced landing. The pilot executed a forced landing in an area of low pine trees and the airplane incurred substantial damage. The FAA inspector stated that postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the stainless steel fuel line at the front top side of the engine had separated from the fuel flow transmitter, consistent with the pilot's report of the loss of engine power, and fuel streaming out the top of the cowling. The inspector said that the fitting on the fuel flow transmitter showed signs of fretting, and had been cracked, allowing fuel pressure to cause the hose to back off the o-ringed nipple. In addition, the support standoff that attaches the fuel line to the top alternator mount so as to provide support for the fuel line, was not attached, and had been subject to vibration loads, causing the fitting to separate from the fuel flow transmitter. Maintenance records indicate that the alternator had been replaced by a maintenance facility 26.6 hours prior to the accident.

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

Improper maintenance and inspection of the airplane by other maintenance personnel, and their failure to install the fuel line support after maintenance had been completed, which resulted in the introduction of vibrational loads and the in-flight separation of the fuel line from the fuel flow transmitter, fuel starvation, the subsequent loss of engine power, an emergency descent/ landing, and damage to the airplane during the off airport landing.

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