NTSB Identification: FTW04LA101.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 03, 2004 in Georgetown, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-300, registration: N47976
Injuries: 2 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 loss of engine power in the single-engine airplane, the 1,050-hour pilot initiated a forced landing while on approach to Runway 36. The pilot initiated a 400-foot per minute descent, reduced power to 23 inches of manifold pressure, and switched the fuel selector from the left to the right fuel tank. Upon reaching a pattern altitude of 1,800 feet approximately four miles west of his intended destination, he entered a tight right downwind for Runway 36. When the airplane was abeam the runway numbers, the airspeed was 10 knots above the landing gear extension speed, so he reduced manifold pressure to 18 inches. The pilot turned on the fuel boost pump, and pushed the mixture and prop controls forward. He extended the downwind leg to further reduce speed. While turning base, he extended the landing gear and pushed the throttle forward, but the engine would not respond. However, he does not recall the RPM setting. The pilot was unable to maintain altitude, so he reduced airspeed to 80 knots, and executed a forced landing on a feeder road adjacent to Interstate 35. Prior to touchdown, he verified that the fuel boost pump was on, the fuel selector was in the detent, and the master and ignition switches were on. He also pushed the mixture and propeller controls to the full forward position. The flaps were never extended. The engine was test run with a two-bladed propeller. The fuel-injected engine was run on the airframe utilizing a provisional fuel line that was attached to the right fuel tank's inboard fitting and a plastic gas can. The engine started and ran normal from idle to 1,500 RPM without interruption. There was no mixture rise observed when leaning the mixture with the engine running at 1,500 RPM. A magneto check was conducted at 1,500 RPM. The engine ran smooth with the RPM dropping approximately 100-125 RPM on both the left and right magneto positions. The cockpit fuel pressure gauge was sluggish and indicated slightly low. A test gauge was installed that indicated 20 psi at idle with the boost pump off and 22 psi with the boost pump on. At 1,500 RPM, the test gauge indicated 25 psi with the boost pump on or off. The fuel vents were also absent of debris. The induction air filter and induction system "appeared" normal and unobstructed. No mechanical anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal engine operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing. Full narrative available
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