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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN14FA337
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 02, 2014 in Harrison, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/17/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA30, registration: N7762Y
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

An airport security camera captured the pilot getting into the airplane, starting the engines, and taxiing for takeoff. No preflight inspection was recorded. About 2 minutes later, the camera and witnesses saw the airplane take off and immediately enter a gradual left turn about 400 feet above the ground. The bank angle increased to about 90 degrees before the airplaneā€™s right wing dropped, and the airplane disappeared from view. Examination of the left engine revealed water in the fuel flow divider, fuel injectors, engine-driven fuel pump, and selector valve fuel bowl. A sample taken from the fuel truck was tested and contained no water or contaminants. It is likely that, due to water in the fuel, the left engine lost power, which resulted in the airplane turning to the left. The pilot did not quickly and appropriately configure the airplane for one-engine flight, which resulted in a loss of control.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's loss of control of the airplane during initial climb because he failed to correctly compensate for the loss of power in the left engine. Contributing to the accident was water contamination in the fuel and the lack of an adequate preflight inspection by the pilot.