NTSB Identification: ERA09LA201
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 16, 2009 in Sanford, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N613FT
Injuries: 2 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 student pilot was making a stop-and-go landing and used maximum wheel and aerodynamic braking to stop the airplane. After coming to a stop, both pilots realized that the engine had stopped running. After calling tower personnel and advising them of the situation, the instructor attempted to re-start the engine. Four total re-start attempts were made. After the fourth attempt, the pilots noticed smoke and flames coming from the engine compartment. The instructor moved the mixture control to idle cut-off, and exited the airplane. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane and reported fire damage to the engine and airframe, including firewall deformation. The inspector stated that the fire appeared to originate in the induction system air box. In addition, damage to the air box was consistent with a fuel-air explosion. During the course of the investigation the source of the original loss of power was not identified, nor was it definitively proven how the air box was damaged; however, flooding of the engine during repeated attempts to start the engine could have played a role in the accident. The operator's maintenance personnel reported that the airplane did not have a history of engine problems.

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

An engine air induction explosion for an undetermined reason during repeated engine start attempts.

Full narrative available

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