NTSB Identification: ANC05LA110.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, July 28, 2005 in Ketchikan, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-3, registration: N6868B
Injuries: 1 Serious,10 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 airline transport certificated pilot was conducting a visual flight rules (VFR) local area sightseeing flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, in a float-equipped airplane. During cruise flight, a flash fire erupted near the windshield/glare shield area of the cockpit, in front of the pilot. The pilot made an emergency landing, and a passenger assisted by utilizing a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. The airplane received minor damage, but the pilot received second-degree burns to his hands. The airplane was manufactured in 1958, and had accrued 3,742 hours on the airframe, and 6.4 hours since the last annual inspection when a 1,000 hp engine was installed. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed a pin-size hole in an aluminum fuel pressure bourbon line, utilized as a fixed line between the engine firewall, and an airframe longitudinal former, behind the instrument panel. The bourbon line is located between flexible fuel pressure lines from the engine to the firewall, and from the airframe former to the backside of the fuel pressure gauge. An examination of the line at the NTSB Materials Laboratory revealed a circular-shaped hole about 3 inches from the firewall end of the line. A longitudinal cut was made through the hole which revealed blue and brown tinting, and evidence of metal flow typical of re-solidification. The features of the hole were consistent with heat damage from electrical arcing. The wall of the tube had no evidence of corrosion.

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

An electrical arc on the exterior of a fuel pressure line that initiated a fuel leak and fire during cruise flight, which resulted in serious injuries to the pilot as he performed an emergency landing on the water. A factor contributing to the accident was an inadequate annual inspection of the airplane by company maintenance personnel.

Full narrative available

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