NTSB Identification: FTW99LA178.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 01, 1999 in HOUSTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-260, registration: N5788
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.

The pilot failed to maintain the proper descent rate during a VFR approach, in dusk light conditions, following a complete loss of engine power, and the airplane undershot the runway. The airplane was on the downwind leg at 1,100 feet agl and was abeam the runway numbers when the pilot extended the landing gear. Simultaneously, she heard a loud bang and noticed a loss of engine power. The pilot advanced the throttle and realized that the engine had lost total power. The pilot stated that she trimmed the airplane to attain the best glide speed, but did not verify the airspeed during the ensuing forced landing. She added that the airplane was descending 'too fast,' and she needed 'more trim to relieve back pressure, but decided to muscle it as best [she] could and try not to stall the airplane.' Subsequently, the airplane's nose wheel contacted a cement drainage ditch at the approach end of the runway. Following the accident, the engine was test run in the airframe and found to operate within the manufacturer's specifications.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain the proper descent rate during a forced landing, which resulted in a runway undershoot. Factors were the total loss of engine power for an undetermined reason and the dusk light conditions.

Full narrative available

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