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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133135
Last updated: 23 February 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-140
Owner/operator:Airspirit Aviation
Registration: N694SK
C/n / msn: 28-7425056
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:St. Louis, MO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:CPS
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
On February 4, 1995, about 1550 central standard time (cst), a Piper PA-28-140, N694SK, was destroyed when it crashed into an abandoned buildings roof following a total loss of power. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was not operating on a flight plan. The private pilot received minor injuries and the two passengers were seriously injured. The flight departed St. Louis, Missouri, at 1540 cst.

During the preflight inspection the pilot drained the left fuel tank sump twice. He said he did this because the first sample revealed a small amount of water. He reported that no other abnormalities were noted during the preflight inspection. The pilot attempted to start the engine without success. He said after the first startup attempt he primed the engine twice and tried to start the engine. The engine did not start on the second attempt.

The pilot said his third attempt at starting the engine was successful. He said he primed the engine and then stowed the primer knob. The pilot said he placed the mixture control to the "fuel cutoff" position, and increased the throttle before the engine started. Carburetor heat was checked before takeoff, and it operated properly. The pilot said the engine runup was normal "except I stayed a little longer to get the oil temperature to rise."

The electric fuel pump was turned off during the climb. The pilot said he leveled off at 2,300 feet mean sea level (msl). Approximately 10 minutes after takeoff the pilot reported the engine exhibited a "quick sputter." This was followed by a drastic drop to 1,500-1,600 RPM. The RPM then oscillated between 1,500-1,900 RPM. The pilot said a scan of the engine instruments revealed normal fuel and oil pressure. The pilot turned on the electric fuel pump and moved the fuel selector from the left to right tank position. He said he applied full carburetor heat and left it on. The pilot said he cycled the mixture control and moved the magneto's switch "left" and "right" and noted no power change.

The pilot said "sometimes the RPM would go up [a little]... and then drop again." The engine ceased producing power a short time later. The pilot said he turned the electric fuel pump and fuel selector off and initiated a left turn for an emergency landing. The pilot said he switched off the magnetos and master switch during the descent. The airplane impacted the roof of an abandoned two-story building in a nose low attitude. The pilot stated the propeller was windmilling until impact, and the flaps were in the full up position.

One eye witness said he saw a "...pencil-like stream of smoke coming from the aircraft." A second witness said the engine "...sounded as if it were running out of gas." A third witness said the airplane was dumping fuel. He said a fluid from the airplane landed on his car windshield and evaporated.

The on-scene investigation was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI). The PMI reported that both of N694SK's wing fuel tanks were torn open and contained no fuel. A small amount of fuel was recovered from the left wing fuel tank lines when air was blown through the lines. Examination of the fuel system revealed the fuel strainer had separated and the bowl was filled with pieces of roof material.

The engine inspection revealed no mechanical anomalies that would prevent production of power. A cold compression check of the cylinders showed the following values for the respective cylinders: #1, 78/80 psi; #2, 74/80 psi; #3, 74/80; #4, 70/80 psi. The left magneto produced spark when turned by hand. The right magneto failed to produce a spark until it was disassembled and turned by hand. Disassembly of the magnetos revealed the contacts and detents exhibited normal wear and continuity of the ignition switches. The carburetor's two-piece venturi exhibited sooting over most of its surface.

Examination of the spark plugs revealed carbon-like d


NTSB id 20001207X02934

Revision history:

21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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