NTSB Identification: FTW96LA141.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 04, 1996 in SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N40273
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Following a partial right engine power loss in cruise flight, the pilot decided to make a precautionary landing at a nearby airport. While maneuvering to the airport, he noted the gear down indicator lights did not illuminate when he placed the gear handle down. After manually extending the landing gear, the pilot realized he 'didn't have enough altitude to reach [the] airfield.' A witness observed the airplane impact the surface of a lake and, subsequently, sink.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's failure to maintain terrain clearance. A factor was his diverted attention to the performance of the manual gear extension procedure.

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