March 4, 2011, Carrollton, Ga., Beech C23


At about 1130 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed following an in-flight fire and emergency landing. The flight instructor and private pilot-rated student were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-annual-inspection test flight.

During engine start, the flight instructor noticed the fuel pressure gauge showed no pressure, but the engine started normally, ran normally and the airplane took off and climbed normally. At about 2000 feet msl and three or four miles from the departure airport, however, the engine began running rough and smoke was coming from under the cowling. The flight turned around and approached the airport while dealing with a lot of smoke in the cockpit. Both doors were opened to vent the smoke. The instructor landed the airplane and steered it into the grass.

Photographs taken before the airplane was removed from beside the runway reveal the airplanes engine compartment received significant fire damage and many engine accessories were melted by fire. The instrument panel, cockpit, cabin area and right wing were consumed by fire. The inboard section of the left wing out to the landing gear was also destroyed by fire.


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