NTSB Identification: LAX05FA108.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 07, 2005 in Oxnard, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 210L, registration: N2044S
Injuries: 5 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.

As the pilot turned the airplane onto the active runway, he saw white flashes coming from the engine gauges in the instrument panel. He did not believe there was a problem, and continued the takeoff run. About 1,000 feet down the runway, smoke started to enter the cabin, and he stopped the airplane and evacuated the passengers. When he returned to the cabin area, he noted a fire concentrated in the engine gauge instrument cluster area of the panel. He put the fire out, but by the time the fire department arrived, the fire had restarted. The cabin area sustained structural damage during the fire. Investigation found that the wire bundles in the engine gauge area had missing insulation and beading. The engine instrument section was removed for inspection, and a pinhole was found on the steel fuel pressure line. A Safety Board materials specialist examined the fuel pressure line, and noted copper material and damage that was consistent with electrical arcing of a copper wire on another metal surface. The airframe manufacturer issued Service Bulletin SEB98-7 in 1998, which required an inspection of the fuel line between the firewall and fuel flow gauge for abrasion damage. No evidence was found that the service bulletin had been complied with. While the service bulletin was not mandatory, had it been addressed, the damage to the fuel line may have been found in a timely manner before the onset of the fire.

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

A pinhole leak in the fuel pressure line during the takeoff roll that was ignited by an electrical arc associated with wires adjacent to the fuel line. A contributing factor in the accident was the failure of maintenance personnel to comply with a manufacturer's service bulletin that addressed potential damage to the fuel line.

Full narrative available

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