Poor maintenance brings down twin

Aircraft: Piper Twin Comanche Injuries: None. Location: Bragg City, Mo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot said the right engine stopped producing power in flight and that he was unable to maintain altitude. He made a forced landing to a field with the landing gear up.

The post-accident examination of the right engine revealed that the b-nut from the engine-driven fuel pump to the fuel-metering unit was loose and leaking fuel.

The pilot, who also held an A&P certificate, owned and maintained the airplane, had completed an annual inspection of the airplane about 10 flight hours before the accident occurred. He had also recently overhauled the entire fuel system. No other mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation were noted.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to properly tighten the b-nut from the engine-driven fuel pump to the fuel-metering unit during maintenance, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA512

This July 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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