NTSB Identification: CEN12LA401
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Baltic, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23, registration: N3170P
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Shortly after takeoff, the left engine lost power so the pilot diverted to an alternate airport for landing. After the left engine was secured, the airplane was not maintaining altitude so the pilot selected an off-airport site short of the alternate airport to land. While approaching the off-airport site, the right engine lost power, and the airplane was substantially damaged during the forced landing. An examination of the fuel system revealed an extensive amount of corrosion consistent with the continued presence of water over an extended period. Both engine carburetor screens were occluded with particle contaminants, which likely resulted in the loss of power in both engines. The pilot reported that before the flight, he conducted a normal preflight inspection, had 54 gallons of fuel added to both main fuel tanks, and sumped one fuel sump cup full of fuel out of each main tank. Neither the previous owner nor the accident pilot was aware of an airworthiness directive (AD) requiring a special fuel sumping procedure before every flight. The AD also specifies that the procedure should be incorporated into the owner handbook and pilot’s operating manual. The required documentation advising pilots of this preflight procedure was not in the airplane.

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

Loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of particulate contaminant on the carburetor screens.

Full narrative available

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