Incident Piper PA-23-160 Apache N3289P,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 173700
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Date:Friday 9 January 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA23 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-23-160 Apache
Registration: N3289P
MSN: 23-1239
Year of manufacture:1957
Total airframe hrs:7057 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Fort Worth, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Fort Worth, TX (T67)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Prior to departure, the airplane's fuel tanks were topped-off with 72 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. On the take-off roll, when the airplane's airspeed increased to 85 miles per hour (mph) (red-line on the airspeed indicator), the pilot rotated, and the airplane began to climb. When the airspeed increased to 95 mph (blue-line on the airspeed indicator), the airplane suddenly yawed to the right and the airspeed decreased. The pilot said it, "felt like my right engine stopped working." In 3 to 4 seconds, the airplane was over a row of hangars. The pilot lowered the nose of the airplane in an attempt to gain airspeed. But, there was insufficient altitude to clear the hangars and subsequently the airplane collided with one of them, then impacted two parked aircraft. Examination of the right engine revealed that the mixture control cable was disengaged from the carburetor mixture control arm and the cotter pin used to secure the tension nut on the mixture cable was not installed. The mixture control swivel, stud, and a segment of the mixture control cable were examined at the NTSB's Material's Laboratory, Washington DC. According to a Safety Board metallurgist, examination of some of the components indicated wear damage. But, the mixture control cable did not exhibit any longitudinal gouge marks or wear damage that would have been consistent with it being separated during the accident sequence. In addition, the engine was test-run and it operated at various power settings up to 1,500 RPM. The engine ran continuously and without hesitation for approximately 10 minutes. The propeller was actuated and operated normally. Both magnetos were checked and no anomalies were noted. The engine driven fuel pump produced suction and exhaust, and oil was noted draining from the forward crankshaft area. The pilot reported a total of 377 flight hours, of which, 41 hours were in twin-engine aircraft. He also reported a total of 10 hours in the same make and model airplane. A weight and balance computation was made using the airplane's original factory weight and balance. Based on the calculations, the airplane was within weight and balance limits.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain control and the partial loss of engine power as a result of an improperly installed mixture control linkage.




Revision history:

10-Feb-2015 17:03 Noro Added
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
07-Dec-2017 17:36 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Oct-2019 18:49 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type]

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