FTW96LA199
FTW96LA199

On May 1, 1996, at 1300 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28, N9869K, registered to and operated by a private owner as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during takeoff. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The private pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The flight originated from a private airstrip near Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Shortly after takeoff, at approximately 100 feet AGL, the engine lost power. During the emergency landing to a rocky ravine, the fuselage and both wings were damaged. Both fuel tanks were compromised.

The pilot reported that during his preflight inspection, he did not visually check the fuel quantity. The airplane had been fueled 5 days earlier, and approximately 2 to 3 hours had been flown since then. The pilot also reported that the accident "possibl[y] could have been prevented by a more thorough preflight." He further reported that he did not know, at the time of departure, what the total fuel on board was. The pilot stated that "upon takeoff, the engine died. I believe from fuel starvation."

Inspection of the airplane by the pilot revealed that the fuel sump valve was missing. The pilot reported that "the interior threads inside the AN fitting were all intact." However, the attached photograph shows thread damage.

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