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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 46011
Last updated: 27 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-30-320 Twin Comanche B
Owner/operator:Mario Rodriguez-Mattei
Registration: N181MM
MSN: 30-197
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 mile SE of Mercedita Airport, Ponce -   Puerto Rico
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Ponce, PR (PSE)
Destination airport:St. Thomas, VI (STT)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Witnesses observed the pilot having trouble starting the right engine after refueling. Once the right engine was started it made a popping sound. The pilot proceeded to taxi to the runway and takeoff with the right engine still making a popping sound. The airplane was observed to climb to about 250 to 300 feet with the landing gear still extended. The airplane then began to descend and turn to the right. After turning to a downwind position, the airplane rolled rapidly to the right and descended, impacting the ground in a near vertical attitude. Postcrash examination showed the left propeller was rotating during impact and there was no evidence of failure or malfunction of the left engine. The right propeller showed no evidence of rotating under power at ground impact and the propeller blades were locked on the start latches at the 18 degree position. No evidence of failure or malfunction of the right propeller or propeller governor was found. The right engine assembly showed no evidence of precrash failure or malfunction. The right engine fuel servo had a bent regulator stem which caused sticking of the fuel regulator and abnormal fuel mixtures. The right fuel selector was found off after the accident and the mixture, throttle and propeller controls for the right engine were found in the low midrange position. The landing gear and landing gear control were found in the landing gear extended position. The wing flaps were retracted. The checklist for engine failure requires the pilot to retract the landing gear, maintain at least the single engine minimum control speed, and shutdown the failed engine and feather the propeller.
Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to attempt flight with known deficiencies in the airplanes right engine, his failure to feather the right propeller after the engine failed , his failure to retract the landing gear following the engine failure, and his failure to maintain minimum single engine control speed (Vmc), resulting in loss of control of the airplane and impact with the ground during an uncontrolled descent.


FAA register: 2. FAA:

Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
27-Feb-2015 16:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Apr-2017 21:47 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Dec-2017 10:32 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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