NTSB Identification: ERA11LA179
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 04, 2011 in Carrollton, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/01/2011
Aircraft: BEECH C23, registration: N6015F
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.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to pick up the airplane after the completion of an annual inspection. He said that the inspection was completed, and during the engine start, the fuel pressure gauge showed no pressure; however, the engine started and ran normally with no anomalies noted during the takeoff or initial climb. About 2,000 feet mean sea level and 4 miles from the airport, smoke was observed coming from the engine cowling and the engine ran roughly. Witnesses stated that smoke and flames trailed from the airplane as it landed back at the departure airport, steered into the grass infield, and the occupants egressed. The instrument panel, cockpit, cabin area, and right wing were consumed by fire. A postaccident examination revealed that the fuel line from the fuel boost pump to the carburetor was disconnected. Closer examination revealed melted metals and soot accumulated on the threads of the male fitting of the pump, and on the threads of the female b-nut fitting of the fuel line, consistent with the line being disconnected prior to the fire. The fuel line was in close proximity to the carburetor fuel strainer that would routinely be removed during an annual inspection. A t-fitting on the line routed fuel to the fuel pressure indicator. With the affected line disconnected, fuel pressure would not register on the gauge, but the engine would continue to operate.

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

The mechanic's failure to re-connect a fuel line following an annual inspection. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper decision to depart with a known mechanical deficiency.

Full narrative available

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