NTSB Identification: FTW04LA125.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 10, 2004 in Oil City, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-38-112, registration: N24007
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 single-engine airplane impacted terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power after takeoff. According to a witness, who was at the airport and observed the airplane takeoff from the 2,900-feet long by 50-feet wide turf runway, the airplane made a "slight" descent after liftoff, pitched up, then subsequently stalled. Another witness recalled hearing a "chugging" noise coming from the airplane's engine. The airplane impacted terrain at a nose-low attitude, left bank, rotated 180 degrees, and came to rest in an open grass field, approximately 100 feet to the left of the centerline and 102 feet from the departure end of the runway. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the fuel selector valve was found in the right tank position, the throttle was full forward, the primer was locked, and the mixture was near the idle cut-off position. Flight control continuity was established. Both main fuel tanks were breached. The gascolator was observed to be dry. An area several feet in diameter of dead grass was evident beneath both fuel tank areas. Further examination of the engine established valve train continuity through the accessory gears. The spark plugs were removed and the engine was rotated by hand from the propeller flange. Compression was noted on all cylinders and spark was obtained from both magnetos during rotation. All of the cylinders were inspected using a lighted borescope. No anomalies were noted. The number 1 and 3 cylinder bottom spark plugs were found to have excessive lead fouling at the electrodes. Fuel was observed in the electric boost pump. The fuel screen was observed to be clean. The induction air filter was found fuel soaked. The carburetor fuel inlet screen housing was fractured. The carburetor was removed and dissembled. Metal floats were observed, and the fuel bowl was found empty. The engine fuel lines were destroyed. The crankshaft propeller flange and exhaust system were bent aft. The oil cooler exhibited impact damage, and a hole was observed in the oil sump at the rear of the engine below the accessory housing. The last annual inspection was completed on February 7, 2003, and was signed off by an A&P. The engine had been removed from another airplane on July 25, 2001, at a time of 283.42 SMOH. The approximate time since major overhaul TSMOH was 1,520.75 hours. The reason for the reported loss of engine power could not be determined.

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 student pilot's failure to maintain airspeed resulting in a stall..

Full narrative available

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