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N1825T accident description

Maryland map... Maryland list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Odenton, MD
39.083998°N, 76.700246°W
Tail number N1825T
Accident date 07 Aug 2001
Aircraft type Piper PA-28-140
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 7, 2001, at 0930 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N1825T, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after take-off from Tipton Airport (FME), Odenton, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/co-owner was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In an interview, the pilot said he was having mechanical problems with his airspeed indicator, and asked a mechanic to meet him at FME to inspect the pitot/static system.

After the mechanic inspected the system, the pilot planned to perform some high speed taxi runs to test the airspeed indicator.

In preparation for the high speed taxi runs, the pilot performed a pre-flight on the airplane using the checklist. He then started the engine, taxied to the end of runway 28, and performed two engine run-ups with "no abnormal indications."

The pilot then accelerated down runway 28 at full throttle (2,700 rpm). At mid-field, he decelerated, and noted that there was "very little" movement on the airspeed indicator. The pilot felt that he probably didn't travel far enough down the runway to obtain enough speed, so he taxied back to the end of runway 28 for another high speed taxi check. He performed another engine-run-up, and again observed "no abnormal indications."

The pilot again accelerated down runway 28 at full throttle, but was still getting little to no indication on the airspeed indicator. However, with about 1,000 feet of runway remaining, the airplane began to lift off the ground, and he made the decision to take-off. He said the initial climb was "normal", but about 300-400 feet above the ground, the engine "stopped producing power."

The pilot reported that the engine did not run rough, but "it just slowed down as if my instructor had pulled the throttle to simulate an engine-out emergency." The pilot recalled that the propeller continued to spin, and that the tachometer indicated about 1,400-1,500 rpm.

The pilot also reported that he was unable to maintain altitude, turned about 120 degrees to the right, and landed on the paved tarmac located at the north end of the runway.

The airplane and engine were examined on August 10, 2001. Examination of the airplane revealed that the wings and propeller were damaged, and the firewall was wrinkled. Fuel was present in both wing fuel tanks and was absent of debris.

The engine was configured to run on the airframe, utilizing the airplane's own fuel system. A test propeller was installed on the engine, and the throttle and mixture cables were readjusted to allow full movement of the linkages.

Several attempts were made to start the engine. At one point, the engine started, but would not sustain power.

Examination of the fuel system revealed that both fuel vents on the wings, and the fuel lines from the wing tanks to the carburetor were clear of blockages. The electric fuel pump screen and fuel strainer screen were examined and found absent of debris. The fuel strainer bowl was removed, and was filled with blue fuel that was absent of debris.

The fuel lines from the electric fuel pump and strainer appeared to be new. Examination of the fuel hose fittings that attached to the carburetor revealed a thin layer of brown granular matter around the male portion of the fittings.

The carburetor fuel screen was removed and examined. The examination revealed that the port and screen were blocked with debris. No visible light could be seen through the screen, and air was unable to be blown through the fitting into the screen.

The debris was removed and the screen was placed back on the carburetor. Another attempt was made to start the engine. The engine started immediately and ran continuously at various power settings without interruption.

The debris was examined at the Safety Board Materials Laboratory in Washington D.C. A Safety Board physical scientist identified the debris as small pieces of leaves, various pieces of colored material, and an insect cocoon that measured about 0.5 inches long and about 0.25 inches wide.

Examination of the logbooks revealed that on July 1, 2001, a 100-hour inspection was performed on the airplane and an overhauled engine was installed. The logbooks indicated that a new tachometer was installed at a time of 000.1, all fluid carrying hoses and scat hoses were replaced, and the fuel system was flushed. The logbooks also revealed that the engine was run on the ground and ran satisfactorily.

On July 20, 2001, an annual inspection was performed on the engine and airplane at a tachometer time of 000.1.

At the time of the accident, the tachometer read 0001.9.

According to Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 43 Appendix D-Scope and Detail of Items (as applicable to the particular aircraft) to be Included in Annual and 100-Hour Inspections, section (d)(3) stated:

"Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable), components of the engine and nacelle group as follows.....(3) Internal engine-for cylinder compression and for metal particles or foreign matter on screens and sump drain plugs."

Weather at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), Baltimore, Maryland, 7 nautical miles northeast of FME, at 0954, was reported as winds from 290 degrees at 7 knots, sky clear, haze, temperature 86 degrees F, dewpoint 70 degrees F, with an altimeter setting of 30.07 inches HG.

The pilot reported a total of 322.8 flight hours, of which 215 hours were in make and model.

NTSB Probable Cause

Improper maintenance inspections, which resulted in a blocked carburetor.

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