Flight Instructor Restarted The Engine And Subsequently Noticed A Fire

Location: Spring, TX Accident Number: CEN21LA211
Date & Time: May 6, 2021, 17:07 Local Registration: N54MC
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161 Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional

On May 6, 2021, about 1707 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28 airplane, N54MC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH), Spring, Texas. 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.

The flight instructor stated that during rollout of the full stop landing, he noticed a loss of engine power. After exiting the runway, the flight instructor restarted the engine and subsequently noticed a fire that produced smoke and extreme heat in the cabin compartment.

The flight instructor and student evacuated the airplane. Initial examination revealed a damaged engine mount and buckling of the engine firewall. The airplane was retained for further examination.

A postaccident examination revealed ground impact marks from the outline of the wings, which indicated that the airplane impacted the ground in a flat and wings level inverted attitude. The wing fuel tanks were found breached, and a significant amount of fuel was noted in the dirt under the airplane. The cockpit was crushed into the ground and partially buried. The propeller blades were twisted and bent and also partially buried in the ground. The flaps were found near full extension. A SatLoc GPS was removed from the airplane and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Lab for examination and data download.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov