Sunday, August 5, 2018

Piper PA-28-180, N16366: Accident occurred March 27, 2016 at Allegheny County Airport (KAGC), West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N16366 

Location: West Mifflin, PA
Accident Number: ERA16LA154
Date & Time: 03/27/2016, 1100 EST
Registration: N16366
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fire/smoke (non-impact)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 27, 2016, about 1100 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA28-180, N16366, was substantially damaged after a fire occurred during engine startup while the airplane was parked on the ramp at the Allegheny County Airport (AGC), West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the intended local personal flight that was to be conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated that on the morning of the accident, he called the fuel supplier and asked for the airplane to be topped-off, in preparation for a local flight. After performing a preflight inspection, he attempted to start the engine but it would not start. He tried three additional times, without success. On the fifth attempt, he followed the "starting engine when flooded" checklist. As the propeller was turning with the starter, he noticed white smoke "pouring out" of the engine cowl. He turned off the master switch and exited the airplane. He then opened the top engine cowling, and flames suddenly emanated from the left side of the engine, and the color of the smoke changed from white to dark black. He returned to the cockpit to retrieve a handheld fire extinguisher; however, the cockpit was filling up with heavy black smoke and he was forced to egress and unable to suppress the engine fire. The pilot added that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions with the airplane.

According to Federal Aviation Administration and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1973. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on September 8, 2015. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 6,336 total hours of flight time.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the engine and compartment had incurred substantial fire and heat damage. Inside the cockpit, the fuel primer knob was found in the out/unlocked position. Additionally, review of a pilot's operating manual for the make and model airplane revealed:

"…Engine Fire (During Start):
Engine fires during start are usually the result of overpriming. The following procedure is designed to draw the excess fuel back into the induction system.
a. If engine has not started:
(1) Mixture – Idle Cut-Off
(2) Throttle – Open
(3) Turn engine with starter (This is an attempt to pull the fire into the engine.)…" 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 79, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/12/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/19/2013
Flight Time:  1029.1 hours (Total, all aircraft), 623.7 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N16366
Model/Series: PA28 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7305236
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/08/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6336.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAGC, 1273 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1053 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 84°
Lowest Cloud Condition:  Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: West Mifflin, PA (AGC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: West Mifflin, PA (AGC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: ALLEGHENY COUNTY (AGC)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1251 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  40.354444, -79.929167 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA154
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 27, 2016 in Pittsburgh, PA
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N16366
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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 March 27, 2016, about 1100 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N16366, was substantially damaged after a fire occurred during engine startup while the airplane was parked on the ramp at the Allegheny County Airport (AGC), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the intended local personal flight that was to be conducted under the provisions of Title14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated that on the morning of the accident, he called the fuel supplier and asked for the airplane to be topped off, in preparation for a local flight. After performing a preflight inspection, he attempted to start the engine but it would not start. He tried three additional times, without success. On the fifth attempt, he followed the "starting engine when flooded" checklist. As the propeller was turning with the starter, he noticed white smoke "pouring out" of the engine cowl. He turned off the master switch and exited the airplane. He then opened the top engine cowling, and flames suddenly emanated from the left side of the engine, and the color of the smoke changed from white to dark black.  He returned to the cockpit to retrieve a handheld fire extinguisher; however the cockpit was filling up with heavy black smoke and he was forced to egress and unable to suppress the engine fire

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the engine and compartment had incurred substantial fire and heat damage. Inside the cockpit, the fuel primer knob was found in the out/unlocked position.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1973. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on September 8, 2015. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 6336 total hours of flight time.

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