NTSB Identification: SEA89LA045.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38559.
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 31, 1989 in SPARKS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/12/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-31, registration: N88RG
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

DURING THE CLIMBOUT, IN NIGHT VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, THE AIRCRAFT LOST RIGHT ENGINE POWER. THE PILOT WAS INITIALLY CLEARED FOR ONE RUNWAY, BUT WAS UNABLE TO GET A SAFE GEAR INDICATION. THE PILOT MADE A 180 DEGREE TURN TO LAND ON THE OPPOSITE RUNWAY WHILE ATTEMPTING TO GET A SAFE GEAR INDICATION. ON TURN FROM BASE TO FINAL, WITH THE GEAR DOWN AND LOCKED, THE PILOT OVERSHOT FINAL APPROACH. THE PILOT THEN CHOSE AN UNLIT PARKING LOT TO MAKE AN OFF-AIRPORT LANDING. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK A TREE AND A POWER LINE. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK SEVERAL PARKED UNOCCUPIED VEHICLES DURING THE LANDING. THE FAA REPORTED THAT AN ON-SITE INSPECTION REVEALED A FAILED RIGHT TURBOCHARGER.

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

THE PILOT'S MISJUDGEMENT OF THE FORCED LANDING PROFILE. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE FAILURE OF THE RIGHT TURBOCHARGER AND THE PILOT'S IMPROPER HANDLING OF THE LANDING GEAR SYSTEM.

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