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Sun, May 09, 2004

NTSB: Delashaw's Hunter Not Airworthy

Engine change had not been signed off by mechanic

In July of 2003 we reported that Tom "Sharkbait" Delashaw had died after his Hawker Hunter crashed in Pennsylvania. The NTSB has released a report in which it states that it has found that the aircraft had had an engine change prior to the crash, and the logs had not been signed off by the mechanic to return the jet to airworthy status.

The report, published last Thursday, May 6, states in part that "According to the FAA licensed A & P mechanic who oversaw and supervised the engine change, he did not sign off any maintenance records to return the airplane to an airworthy status." The engine being swapped was an Avon 122 made by Rolls-Royce. It continues to say that the mechanic "...conducted the engine change in accordance with maintenance manuals for the airplane. He supplied a copy of the documentation used during the engine change and subsequent engine runs which showed what was conducted."

"He also reported that during engine runs, the engine was found to not meet two specific tests. The first test was engine acceleration from approach power (4,500 rpm) to maximum governed rpm (8,100 rpm). The specified time for the acceleration was 5 seconds, and he reported that it took the engine 9 seconds to complete the acceleration. The second test was engine acceleration from ground idle to the maximum governed rpm. The specified time for the acceleration was 7 to 9 seconds, and he reported that it took 14 seconds to complete the acceleration."

Additionally, the investigation found that there was no record of an application on the part of the pilot/owner for a special permit to fly the aircraft.

The NTSB has not yet issued a final report for this accident.

FMI: http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20030808X01294&ntsbno=NYC03FA164&akey=1

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