NTSB Identification: MIA97LA250.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 19, 1997 in MIAMI, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N4315X
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

Upon reaching cruising altitude of 8,500 feet the pilot leaned the engine fuel mixture. Several minutes later the fuel mixture began to lean further and the engine lost power. Movement of the mixture control handle had no effect on the engine mixture or engine operation. The flight descended for a forced landing at a near by airport. Upon turning on to final approach the flight did not have sufficient altitude and airspeed to make the runway. The aircraft landed on soft terrain short of the runway and the landing gear collapsed. Post crash examination of the engine showed the mixture control cable hold down bracket had broken near the engine and a clamp holding the cable to the engine mount was missing the rubber insert allowing the clamp to slide freely on the engine mount arm. Manufacturer inspection requirements state the mixture control cable be inspected for security each 100 flight hours.

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

The failure of the pilot to properly plan his descent and approach for a forced landing following partial loss of engine power resulting in the aircraft landing short of the intended landing runway. A factor in the accident was improper inspection of the aircraft by company maintenance personnel resulting in a cracked mixture cable hold down bracket going undetected until failure and a missing clamp rubber insert going undetected.

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