NTSB Identification: CHI01LA184.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 21, 2001 in PLATTSMOUTH, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-300, registration: N5659V
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot was flying a practice NDB approach to runway 34. The instructor said they began descending during the procedure turn. They rolled out on the inbound heading of 354 degrees. The instructor pilot said, "I called Omaha approach and they approved a switch to Plattsmouth advisory." While he changed radio frequencies, the student pilot descended to the minimum descent altitude of 1,820 feet mean sea level. At 7 DME the instructor made the radio call to Plattsmouth advisory. The student pilot performed his pre-landing checklist at 5 DME. The gear came down, and the student pilot told the instructor pilot that he turned on the boost pump and switched tanks. The instructor pilot said he did not actually see him do this, but looked over and saw the fuel pump on and the fuel selector switched over to the left tank. The engine instruments all looked normal. At 1.8 DME, the instructor pilot said the manifold pressure and RPMs dropped, and the airplane nosed down. The instructor pilot pushed the control levers full forward and told the student pilot to run the emergency checklist. "...our speed was still only about 80 and it was obvious we were not going to make the runway. We picked up a little speed, but even best glide wouldn't get us to the runway - we were too low for that. The instructor pilot said he looked for the best possible landing site straight ahead between us and the runway. The instructor pilot moved the throttle up and down twice. He said that it seemed very loose. There was no response from the engine. The engine sounded like it was still running. The instructor pilot said they kept the flaps up so they could stretch the glide to clear a tree line. On the other side of the tree line they saw a fence with large fence posts in their path. "We both got on the controls and pulled us over the fence. On the other side the terrain angled up. We flared, the stall warning sounded, the mains hit the ground and then it seemed like the nose wheel hit hard." An examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed no anomalies. The engine was examined 8 days later and showed no anomalies.

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

the loss of engine power for undetermined reasons during the approach and the inadvertent stall that occurred during the forced landing. Factors relating to this accident were the low airspeed, the uphill terrain, and the fence.

Full narrative available

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