Accident Piper PA-44-180 Seminole N883FT, Thursday 11 November 2010
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Date:Thursday 11 November 2010
Time:18:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-44-180 Seminole
Owner/operator:Fit Aviation Llc
Registration: N883FT
MSN: 4496249
Year of manufacture:2008
Total airframe hrs:1638 hours
Engine model:Lycoming LO-360-A1H6
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Palm Beach International Airport (KPBI), Florida -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Training
Departure airport:West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
Destination airport:Melbourne, FL (MLB)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The commercial pilot’s most recent flight in a multi-engine airplane was about 1 year before the accident. During initial climb after takeoff, the certified flight instructor (CFI) reported to the tower controller that the airplane had experienced an engine failure and that they needed to return to the runway. The controller cleared the flight to land on any runway, but the airplane subsequently banked left and impacted the ground in a nose-down attitude. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the propeller for the engine that lost power (the left engine) was not in the feathered position and that the landing gear was in the extended position, which is contrary to the published emergency procedure for an engine failure during takeoff. Postaccident download of avionics data revealed that the left engine lost fuel flow and rpm less than 1 minute after takeoff power was applied, and examination of the wreckage revealed that the left fuel selector lever and fuel selector valve were found in the off position. The taxiing checklist for the airplane specified that the fuel selectors were to be switched from the on position to the crossfeed position to ensure that the crossfeeds were working properly; the before takeoff checklist specified that the fuel selectors should be set to the on position. Postaccident ground testing performed in an airplane of the same model as the accident airplane revealed that, when the fuel selectors are moved from the crossfeed position to the on position (or from the on position to the crossfeed position), the fuel selector passes through the off position. The ground testing also showed that, when the test airplane’s left fuel selector was placed in the off position and then takeoff power was applied to both engines, the left engine lost power completely after 36 seconds. Therefore, the loss of engine power during the accident flight is consistent with the takeoff having been performed with left fuel selector in the off position.
Probable Cause: The failure of both the pilot and the certified flight instructor to ensure that the left fuel selector was in the on position for takeoff and their failure to follow the proper procedures when the left engine lost power shortly after takeoff, resulting in an in-flight loss of control.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA11FA054
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

NTSB

Location

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Nov-2010 22:59 slowkid Added
12-Nov-2010 09:31 slowkid Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Nature, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Nov-2010 13:39 harrierho Updated
13-Nov-2010 02:46 slowkid Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 18:38 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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