Piper Mirage Crash Probe Raises Misfuel Questions


Investigators are focusing on whether the wrong type of fuel led to a Piper Malibu Mirage crash Sunday in Spokane, Washington, killing the pilot. The airplane had engine trouble shortly after departing Felts Field and crashed on a street in East Spokane. KREM2 reported that the state Department of Ecology and an FAA inspector raised the possibility that the fuel spilled at the crash site was Jet-A.

The pilot, Michael Clements, 61, of Alberta, Canada, died Tuesday at a local hospital. He had flown from Canada and landed at Spokane’s Felts Field to clear customs and refuel on the way to Stockton, California, KREM2 reported.According to the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register, Clements’ aircraft is a 2000 PA-46-350P. The model was manufactured with a Lycoming turbocharged engine, although some have been converted to turboprops. It’s unclear whether Clements, the only person on board, purchased self-serve or full-serve fuel at Western Aviation’s FBO; what he requested, if anything, from the line; or how much fuel he took.The NTSB is investigating and has not released a preliminary report.