NTSB Identification: ERA09CA014
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 12, 2008 in Epping, NH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/2009
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-50, registration: N23267
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of a Piper J3C-50 stated that after completing a preflight inspection, during startup of the airplane, he noticed that the engine was running rough. He made an attempt to clear up the rough-running engine by conducting high-speed taxis. He then decided to fly it in the traffic pattern as a safety check. During takeoff, at an altitude of 50 feet above the runway, the engine stopped producing power. The pilot turned the airplane in an attempt to return to the private landing strip and stalled into terrain. Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed dirt and debris in the fuel lines. Further examination of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed about 5 years prior to the accident. Additionally, the airplane was operating on automobile gasoline, and there was no supplemental type certificate issued by the FAA for the accident airplane's use of automobile gasoline.

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

The pilot's improper preflight inspection and his decision to fly an unairworthy airplane.

Full narrative available

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