NTSB Identification: IAD05LA144.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 30, 2005 in Dayton, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Howard Whyte Nieuport 28, registration: N62610
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.

During takeoff, a white "puff" of smoke was observed to exit the exhaust stack, and the engine lost power. The propeller began to "windmill," and the pilot observed the tachometer, which was driven by the right magneto's P-lead, "go to zero." The pilot attempted to restart the engine without result and performed a forced landing. During the landing, the airplane nosed over and was substantially damaged. Examination of the engine's ignition system revealed that the ends of the wire leads that went into the magneto cases were equipped with spring type spark plug terminal contacts, instead of solid phenolic or ceramic insulated eyelets or P-lead fittings. No insulation in the access holes for the contactors was present. No means to keep the spring type terminal contacts from migrating under vibration was installed, and there was no mechanism to prevent contact with the magneto cases. The engine was delivered originally without P-lead fittings. In their place were two brass knurled nuts. After the pilot advised the engine manufacturer's sales distributor of the discrepancy, the sales distributor then mistakenly shipped the spring type spark plug terminal contacts to the pilot.

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

A loss of engine power due to the installation of incorrect spring type terminal contacts which were accidentally supplied by the engine distributor.

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