August 17, 2011, Perryton, Texas, Piper PA-31-310 Navajo


At about 1542 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged after an explosion and fire prior to takeoff. Visual conditions prevailed. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries.

The pilot had taxied to the end of the runway and was performing his pre-takeoff checks. While running an engine at about 1500 rpm, there was an explosion under the pilot’s seat, propelling his head into the ceiling. The airplane was on fire; the pilot exited through the main cabin door. With both engines still operating, the unpiloted airplane began moving, but came to rest while still on the airport grounds. The airplane was mostly consumed by fire.


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