Thursday, July 7, 2016

Piper PA-28-161, American Air Academy, N601FT: Accident occurred June 29, 2016 at Merritt Island Airport (KCOI), Brevard County, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Orlando FSDO-15


NTSB Identification: GAA16LA352
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 29, 2016 in Merritt Island, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N601FT
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 29, 2016, about 1300 Eastern daylight time (EDT), a Piper PA-28-161 airplane, N601FT, experienced a total loss of engine power during the landing roll at Merritt Island airport (COI) in Merritt Island, Florida. During the engine restart a fire ensued, and the firewall sustained substantial damage. The flight instructor and student pilot did not sustain injuries. The airplane was registered to American Air Academy Inc. and was operated by the flight instructor as a visual flight rules (VFR), local, instructional flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from COI, Merritt Island, Florida about 1150 EDT.

The flight instructor reported that he and his student were practicing takeoff and landings in preparation for the student pilot's first solo. On their seventh landing the engine experienced a total loss of power during the landing roll. The flight instructor further reported that he attempted to restart the engine, but during that process he smelled and observed smoke coming from the engine cowling. He switched off the electrical equipment, secured the fire extinguisher, and attempted to extinguish the engine fire. 

According to the operator, the carburetor was overhauled about 400 hours prior to accident. A representative of the company that overhauled the carburetor reported that they did not have any records of the overhauled carburetor. 

The wreckage was sold by the insurance company to a private buyer, and the insurance company did not provide contact information for the buyer. The carburetor was not examined. 

In the emergency section of the pilots operating handbook under engine fire during start, the procedure is:

1. Starter…………………..Crank Engine

2. Mixture…………….…..Idle Cut-Off

3. Throttle………………...Open

4. Electric Fuel Pump…….Off

5. Fuel Selector……………Off

AIRCRAFT:   1989 Piper PA-28-161 N601FT, s/n 2841195

ENGINE - M&M, S/N:  Lycoming IO-360 L2A, s/n RL-7380-39A

PROPELLER – M&M, S/N:       Sensenich 74DM6-0-60, s/n: A43820

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE:   The engine log records work on 05/27/16 at ETT 15563.7, TSMO 1306.0.

* Engine log starts at the OH on 5/24/12

PROPELLER:    Prop was overhauled 10/08/2009.  Prop log records an annual inspection on 06/10/16 at prop TSMOH 1840.6.

AIRFRAME:   The last annual inspection was accomplished 06/10/2016 at Tach 330.6, TT:15651.3.  The Tach now reads 351.1

OTHER EQUIPMENT:      (1) King KX 155 Comm & (1) King KT76A transponder

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  On 06/29/16, the engine stalled during taxi after landing and caught fire during restart attempts.

The engine and all electrical components and wiring are severely burned from the engine fire.  Damage most severe on the left side of the engine.

Firewall and components/wiring are melted and distorted.

Engine mount shows soot and fire damage - heat damage unknown.

Carburetor box is melted.

Components adjacent to carburetor severely damaged such as hoses, baffling, wires, and insulation materials.

Damage to cylinder fins likely.

Exhaust casings are melted.

Engine magneto wiring damaged.

Nose landing gear strut covered in soot with possible heat and fire damage.

Severe damage to engine cowls.

Fixed pitch prop and spinner are intact but smoke, soot, and heat damage is evident.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida.

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