NTSB Identification: ERA10LA370
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 20, 2010 in New Bern, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-200, registration: N8900E
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 accident flight was the first flight after an overhauled fuel servo was installed on the airplane. During initial climb, about 600 feet above ground level, the engine experienced a partial loss of power. The pilot performed a 180-degree turn and attempted to land in the opposite direction of takeoff; however, the engine lost all power during final approach, and the airplane impacted a fence about 150 feet prior to the runway. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any anomalies with the airframe or engine, and adequate fuel was onboard. A subsequent teardown examination of the fuel servo revealed that small, clear, spherical particles were found on the threads of the inlet fitting and plug of the fuel inlet screen. The particles were consistent with glass beads and were also found in the manual mixture control valve chamber and on the unmetered side of the fuel diaphragm. One particle was found underneath the diaphragm. According to the Federal Aviation Administration principle maintenance inspector of the company that overhauled the fuel servo, the glass beads found in the accident fuel servo were similar to the glass beads used by the company. Although the company did not bead-blast their fuel servos, bead-blasting was performed in other locations in the factory, including areas approximately 20 feet from where the fuel servos were overhauled.

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

Inadequate quality control at the fuel servo overhaul facility, which resulted in contamination of the fuel servo and a subsequent loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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