ATL05LA049
ATL05LA049

On February 8, 2005, at 1812 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-32-300, N364BW, registered to Race City Aviation and operated by Package Express, collided into a rock quarry while maneuvering for a forced landing at Concord Regional Airport, Concord, North Carolina. The cargo flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Part 135 with a flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot reported minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight departed Wilmington, North Carolina, on February 8, 2005 at 1700.

According to the pilot, during a cargo flight to Concord Regional Airport, North Carolina at an attitude of approximately 2000 feet, and 5 miles out from runway 20 the engine began to lose power. The pilot switched from the left main fuel tank to the right main fuel tank in an effort to regain engine power. Engine power was regained for a brief moment and then started to decrease again to 1000 rpm. The pilot switched from the right main tank to the auxiliary tip tanks, and noted no increase in engine power. The pilot contacted the Concord Regional Airport tower and informed them that the airplane was "going down." The airplane came to rest in a rock quarry approximately one mile from the approach end of runway 20.

Post-accident examination of Fuel Pump model (RG17980D/M) serial # B-4766-3402 revealed that the fuel pump was repaired in the field during the life of the unit. The unit was shipped new prior to 1989. No record of overhaul or upgrade activity by the manufacturer was noted. No evidence of preventive maintenance was noted. Examination of the unit revealed an unapproved valve set screw, severe wear and damage to the rotor interface with the drive coupling, rubber seal material worn on rubber journal, severe wear to rotor seal. The inside diameter of the rotor seal was severely oversized, and compromised the sealing capability at the pumps drive end. This location revealed extensive leakage during testing.

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