NTSB Identification: DEN06LA040.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 20, 2006 in Torreon, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-235, registration: N9149W
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 reported that "approximately 25 minutes into the flight, the engine quit - 2,350 rpm to zero rpm reading." The pilot attempted to restart the engine but the engine would not start. The pilot then executed a forced landing to a dirt road. The pilot said, "We touched down with the road veering slightly to the right and bounced once becoming airborne again. The plane yawed to the right and when I straightened the aircraft we touched down a second time left of center on the dirt road and shoulder. The bar ditch had been graded so as to drain into the field adjacent to the road. When we struck the perpendicular ditch, the nose gear gave way forcing us to a stop." An on-scene examination of the airplane showed the nose wheel broken aft, the lower cowling crushed upward, the engine and engine mounts bent upward, and the lower firewall bent upward and aft. Flight control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the airplane's engine showed the left magneto impulse coupling broken and the magneto drive gear jammed. The adjacent camshaft gear showed 4 broken teeth. Milled metal was found around the drive coupling and camshaft gear. No other anomalies were found.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The jammed magneto drive gear and the fractured camshaft gear, which resulted in the total engine failure. A factor contributing to the accident was the unsuitable dirt road on which the pilot had to force land the airplane. Full narrative available
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