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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 146177
Last updated: 29 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-22-135 Tri-Pacer
Registration: N3431A
C/n / msn: 22-1700
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Van Buren County, a field near 69th Street and County Road 378 -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Bangor, MI
Destination airport:South Haven, MI (LWA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
On the day before the accident, the owner/pilot made a forced landing to a field due to a loss of engine power. No damage was incurred during that event. Examination of the airplane after the off-airport landing revealed that the gascolator screen was almost completely plugged by a flaky, shellac-type material. The airplane had a history of automotive fuel use, and the inspector who examined the airplane told the pilot that he should have a local mechanic do a thorough fuel system evaluation and flushing before further flight. He reminded the pilot that there were screens in the fuel tanks, carburetor, and in the belly sump that should be checked and cleaned. On the day of the accident flight, the pilot and a local mechanic added fuel to the right fuel tank and performed fuel flow tests. The pilot then attempted to take off, and the engine stopped producing power. The airplane impacted the ground in a left turn and nosed over. Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed that the carburetor and gascolator screens were 50 percent obstructed. Neither the pilot nor the mechanic indicated in their postaccident statements that the gascolator, carburetor, or fuel tank screens were checked or that the fuel system was flushed to remove the residual fuel system contaminants. Based on the available evidence, it is likely that the engine power loss was due to the obstruction of the fuel system screens, which prevented adequate fuel flow to the engine.
Probable Cause: The pilotís failure to properly service the fuel system, and subsequent decision to conduct the flight with known fuel system deficiencies, which led to the total loss of engine power.



Other occurrences involving this aircraft

5 Jun 2012 N3431A Private 0 Cornfield 5sm SE of South Haven Area Regional Airport - KLWA, MI unk

Revision history:

07-Jun-2012 06:18 gerasrd57 Added
09-Jun-2012 04:01 Alpine Flight Updated [Cn]
09-Jun-2012 04:03 Alpine Flight Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:45 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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