NTSB Identification: ERA14LA268
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 04, 2014 in Melbourne, FL
Aircraft: PIPER AIRCRAFT INC PA 28-161, registration: N642FT
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 4, 2014, about 1009 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-161, N642FT, experienced an engine compartment fire after landing at Melbourne International Airport (MLB), Melbourne, Florida. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and pilot-rate student were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by FIT Aviation, LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

The CFI stated that after landing on runway 27R, they were taxiing off the runway onto taxiway "Q" and just prior to the hold short lines, the engine quit. The CFI contacted the tower and asked for permission to push the airplane completely off the runway but the tower controller instructed them to advise whether they could start the engine. While attempting to start the engine using procedures for a hot and cold engine, they noticed smoke coming from the engine cowling. The airplane was secured and the CFI and student evacuated the airplane. They then noticed flames from the engine cowling. The CFI attempted to extinguish the fire using the on-board hand held fire extinguisher, but was unable. Fire rescue responded and extinguished the fire.

During repairs of the airplane to return it to service, the engine mount was inspected and overhauled, and the firewall was replaced.

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