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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 191116
Last updated: 28 August 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA32 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-32-260
Registration: ZK-EKS
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Ashburton Aerodrome -   New Zealand
Phase: Standing
Departure airport:Ashburton Aerodrome
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: TAIC New Zealand
On the afternoon of Tuesday 20 January 1998 the pilot/owner of ZK-EKS was completing pre-take-off checks at Ashburton Aerodrome, at the commencement of a flight to West Melton Aerodrome, when he became aware of an unusual smell similar to exhaust fumes. He shut the engine down without delay, and he, and the three children accompanying him, vacated the aircraft.

On removing the upper cowl, flames and smoke erupted from the rear of the engine, the grass beneath the aircraft began to burn, and within a few minutes the engine and nosewheel assembly, the cockpit, and a major portion of the cabin of the aircraft, had been destroyed by fire.

Insufficient evidence remained for the Police to determine whether or not the fire resulted from malicious tampering. An alternative possibility existed that a defect in one of the flexible hoses supplying fuel to the fuel pump and carburettor had allowed fuel vapour or raw fuel to accumulate within the engine compartment, which had subsequently ignited.

A safety issue identified related to the limitations of "On-condition" maintenance, as a means of ensuring the continuing serviceability of fuel hoses within the engine compartments of general aviation type aircraft, and the desirability of a policy whereby such hoses should be removed and new hoses installed, on a basis of total time in service and/or a calendar period, as appropriate.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC New Zealand
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report
Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation 056/98 issued 20 August 1998 by TAIC to CAA NZ

Revision history:

03-Nov-2016 20:11 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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