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12 April 2012, 09:35
An air accident report has found a light aircraft that crashed into two houses in Eccles, killing the pilot, could have had fuel supply problems.
No-one on the ground was hurt but the Piper PA38's pilot, Ian Daglish, 59, from Alderley Edge, died later in hospital, the report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.
The father-of-two's 19-year-old passenger was seriously hurt in the crash in Newlands Avenue, Eccles, on the morning of July 29 last year.
Leaving Manchester/Barton City Airport, the aircraft suffered an engine stoppage on take-off at about 200ft. It rolled to the left, with the extension roof of the first house most likely being struck by the aircraft's right wing.
The underside of the aircraft then hit the side wall of a neighbouring house, with the wrecked and on-fire aircraft coming to rest in a driveway between the two homes.
The AAIB report said: "The account of the passenger and the findings from the investigation support a fuel supply problem as being the most likely cause of the engine stoppage.''
The AAIB went on: "Although other potential causes for the engine stoppage could not be eliminated from the investigation, the most likely cause, based on the available evidence, was that stiffness of the fuel selector valve and wear on the rod connecting it to the selector handle, may have resulted in the valve being in an intermediate position during the take-off. "This would have reduced the fuel flow to a level too low to sustain continuous engine operation.''
The report added: "The suddenness of the engine stopping and the limited time available to react to it probably resulted in the pilot omitting to lower the nose before the aircraft stalled. "Once the aircraft stalled, it is highly unlikely that he could have recovered the aircraft in the height available.''