NTSB Identification: DFW07CA059.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 28, 2007 in Madison, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-310P, registration: N6914T
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The airplane was damaged during a forced landing in a muddy field following a loss of engine power. The pilot said that while in cruise flight at 23,000 feet mean sea level, he heard a "medium loud pop" about one hour into the flight and noted an immediate drop in manifold pressure to approximately 15-inches. The pilot added that he thought the turbocharger had failed and that the engine would return to normal power when the airplane descended to an altitude below 10,000 feet; however, engine power never returned and the pilot elected to execute a forced landing to a muddy pasture. Two safety inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performed an on-scene examination of the airplane and the engine. According to an inspector, the pilot landed in a muddy pasture and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, engine firewall, and landing gear. Examination of the engine, the accessories, and the fuel system revealed no mechanical deficiencies. When the airplane was recovered, approximately 90 gallons of blue colored aviation fuel was drained from both wing tanks and their respective collector/sump tanks, which were located at the root of each wing. Approximately one-quart of water was drained from both the left and right wing collector/sump tanks, which have a capacity of one U.S. gallon each. The engine was test-run on the airframe utilizing the airplane's existing fuel system. Due to the cool outside air temperature, the engine needed to be primed before it started. Once the engine started, it was operated through various power settings and it ran continuously without interruption. The magnetos functioned normally and all engine gauge readings were normal. No mechanical deficiencies were noted that could have contributed to the loss of power. The pilot stated that he conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane, which included draining both collector/sump tanks. The pilot added that no water was detected in the fuel at that time.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power due to water contamination in the fuel system. A factor was the muddy terrain. Full narrative available
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