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Wed, Feb 03, 2021

NTSB Prelim: Piper PA38

Mixture Was In The Full Rich Position And Moved The Throttle Levels With No Response From The Engine

Location: Pembroke Pines, FL Accident Number: ERA21LA059
Date & Time: December 2, 2020, 07:51 Local Registration: N2420F
Aircraft: Piper PA38 Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On December 2, 2020, about 0751 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-38, N2420F, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near North Perry Airport (HWO), Pembroke Pines, Florida. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was to fly the traffic pattern with the student pilot. Prior to the flight, they performed a preflight inspection with no anomalies noted. After performing several takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern, the flight instructor’s “fuel timer” went off on a downwind leg of the traffic pattern to switch tanks from the left tank to the right tank. They performed a go around procedure and on the upwind leg of the traffic pattern they noticed a strong smell of something “being burnt.” The flight instructor conducted a scan of the instruments, and noted the carbon monoxide detector was black, which indicated high levels of carbon monoxide were present. At that point, they were 400 ft mean sea level, and the student pilot began to turn to the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. During the turn, the flight instructor noticed a “lack of engine power.” He assumed control of the airplane from the student pilot and verified that the mixture was in the full rich
position and moved the throttle levels with no response from the engine. He then declared an emergency, turned back toward the airport, and unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine multiple times during the descent.

The airplane struck an airport perimeter fence, nosed over, and came to rest inverted resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage and empennage. The flight instructor and student pilot egressed the airplane without injuries.

An examination of the engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that throttle and mixture control continuity was confirmed. The propeller could only be turned one-quarter of the way through by hand. In addition, there was no visible damage to the exhaust system.

The airframe and engine were recovered for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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