NTSB Identification: NYC08LA270
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 05, 2008 in Brownsboro, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-12, registration: N7820H
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 pilot taxied the airplane to the runway and took off. According to witnesses when the airplane was approximately 50 feet above ground level, the engine of the airplane "faltered." The airplane then descended behind a row of trees, the sound of a crash was heard, and smoke began to rise from the area where the plane was last seen. The airplane owner stated to a Safety Board investigator that it was his practice to shut the fuel selector valve off after shutting the engine down, in order to prevent fuel from draining from the wing tanks, through the carburetor, and on to the ground. He further stated that with the fuel selector valve in the "OFF" position, enough fuel remained in the lines and gascolator to permit a taxi out, engine runup, and a few more minutes of engine operation. The fuel selector valve from the accident airplane was recovered and confirmed to be in the "OFF" position.

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

The pilot’s failure to ensure the fuel valve was on prior taxi and takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed following loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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