This February 2010 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.
Aircraft: Piper Saratoga. Injuries: None. Location: Reserve, N.M. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: During takeoff the pilot heard a “pop” noise and smoke filled the cockpit. He elected to continue the takeoff roll with the intent of completing the pattern to return to the airport. During the downwind leg, the smoke became severe, but the pilot was able to land the airplane safely.
Examination of the airplane revealed that the engine, cowling, and firewall were burned. The inspection revealed that a fuel injector/line on the No. 5 cylinder was broken and had sprayed fuel onto the engine’s turbocharger.
Probable cause: An in-flight fire due to a fuel leak from the No. 5 cylinder’s broken fuel injector/line.
For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN10CA111
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