NTSB Identification: CEN11FA007
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 06, 2010 in Naperville, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-300, registration: N3402Q
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During takeoff, the pilot rotated the airplane beyond the airplane's takeoff ground roll distance and at a speed near the airplane’s stall speed. A witness saw the airplane climb with a nose-up pitch of about 20 degrees. Although the airplane had experienced a partial loss of engine power, as reported by the pilot, it was still able to climb while in a high pitch attitude and corresponding high drag attitude, which is indicative that the airplane had excess horsepower to climb and sustain flight at higher airspeeds and lower angles of attack. However, the pilot continued to attempt to climb rather than to abort the takeoff, exceeded the necessary power requirements, and was unable to sustain the climb; the airplane impacted a building. Postaccident examination of the airplane’s engine revealed a detached fuel servo air inlet coupling that would have perturbed or restricted airflow to the fuel servo, which resulted in the reduced engine power. The examination also revealed a preexisting hole in an exhaust pipe near the fuel servo that would have allowed hot exhaust gases to flow into the fuel servo air inlet, which would also result in reduced engine power. The airplane had undergone an annual inspection performed by the airplane’s owner and two mechanics with inspection authorizations 3 flight hours before the accident flight; the inspection should have identified the detached coupling and the hole in the exhaust pipe.

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

The pilot’s failure to abort the takeoff when he realized the airplane was not attaining sufficient takeoff and climb performance. Contributing to the accident was the airplane’s partial loss of engine power due to an obstruction of the fuel servo air inlet by the intake duct coupling and ingestion of exhaust gases from a preexisting hole in the exhaust pipe. Also contributing to the accident was the improper annual inspection of the airplane by the owner and two mechanics.

Full narrative available

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