NTSB Identification: WPR10LA174
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 23, 2010 in Hollister, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/19/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA30, registration: VHEXA
Injuries: 1 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.

In preparation for an extended over-water ferry flight, a ferry fuel tank system was installed on the airplane. On the day prior to the accident a certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic inspected the ferry fuel system, finding the airplane airworthy with respect to the work performed. The pilot then conducted a successful test flight of the ferry fuel system, with no anomalies noted. Prior to takeoff on the accident flight the pilot ran both engines up to full takeoff power, followed by brake release, after noting that takeoff power had been achieved. After the airplane became airborne the pilot selected the gear selector switch to retract the landing gear, with all indications normal. He reported that, when the airplane was about 60 feet above the ground, there was a loud bang and that the left engine subsequently “surged” and lost partial power. A witness stated that after the takeoff he heard a loud popping noise, and the pilot stated that the nose pitched up and he intuitively pushed forward on the yoke. The pilot reported that the engine power eventually returned; however, not before the airplane impacted terrain and came to rest in an inverted position. A postaccident examination of the airplane and engines failed to reveal the reason for the reported partial loss of engine power.

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

A partial loss of engine power during the initial climb for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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