August 01, Marietta, Pa. / Grumman Tiger


At about 2030 eastern time, a Grumman American AA-5B crashed shortly after takeoff from Donegal Springs Airpark, killing the pilot and three passengers. Witnesses said the pilot had trouble starting the airplane and that engine power was intermittent during the takeoff and initial climb. The pilot had bought the airplane about three weeks earlier, and during his initial repositioning flight had experienced trouble starting the engine on at least two legs of the flight. One departure was delayed while the pilot had a mechanic clean and gap the spark plugs and verify magneto operation. Post-crash investigation found the top and bottom spark plugs of two cylinders were oil-soaked.


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