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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 234865
Last updated: 26 March 2021
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Time:15:22 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA27 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-23-250 Aztec C
Registration: N335W
C/n / msn: 27-3017
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Albemarle, Stanly County, NC -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Albemarle-Stanly County Airport, NC (KVUJ)
Destination airport:Albemarle-Stanly County Airport, NC (KVUJ)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The owner of the multiengine airplane was receiving a check out in the airplane from the flight instructor. During the initial climb, about 200 ft above ground level, the instructor noticed a decrease in airspeed and the pilot receiving instruction stated that both engines were losing power. The instructor immediately confirmed that the mixture levers were full rich and that the propeller and manifold levers were full forward. He also turned on the electric fuel pumps, which had not been turned on before takeoff. With insufficient runway remaining on which to land, the pilots continued over trees at the end of the runway before landing in a field. The instructor further stated that the electric fuel pump switches were on the far left of the instrument panel and he was unable to see their position before the loss of engine power. He added that he believed that the loss of engine power was the result of the electric fuel pumps being off.

Examination of the engines, fuel systems, ignition systems, and induction systems did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions, and examination of fuel samples from each fuel tank and both engine fuel sumps did not reveal any anomalies. Subsequent testing of the left and right engine mechanical fuel pumps revealed that they operated within specifications. Review of checklists in an owner's manual and airplane flight manual for the airplane make and model revealed instructions in both to use the electric fuel pumps during takeoff. Thus, it is likely that the pilot receiving instruction did not turn on the electric fuel pumps, which were located on his side of the instrument panel, before takeoff, and the instructor did not ensure that they were on.

Probable Cause: The pilots' failure to ensure that the electric fuel pumps were on before takeoff, which resulted in a partial loss of power on both engines during initial climb.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Photo: FAA

Revision history:

07-Apr-2020 20:42 Captain Adam Added
26-Mar-2021 15:20 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
26-Mar-2021 15:32 harro Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Photo]

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