NTSB Identification: NYC08IA069
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Monday, December 24, 2007 in Destin, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R, registration: N8158B
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

While climbing through 10,000 feet, the pilots noticed an abnormal engine sound and seconds later smelled smoke; they then saw smoke emanating from the windshield defroster ducts. The pilots initiated an emergency descent. When power was reduced and the nose pitched down to start the descent, the smoke disappeared, but the engine began running rough. The pilots executed an emergency landing to a non-towered airport, taxied to parking, and shut down the engine. Upon exiting the airplane, the pilots noted external fire damage to the engine cowling, but no active fire. Postincident examination revealed that the fuel injector line to the Number 5 cylinder had fractured, and that the leaking fuel had ignited. Examination of the fuel line revealed that it had been repaired, despite such repairs being prohibited by a manufacturer's service bulletin. The investigation was unable to determine when the repair was performed, or who performed it.

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

An in-flight fire due to a fractured fuel injector line as a result of an unauthorized repair to the line.

Full narrative available

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