NTSB Identification: SEA08LA073.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 08, 2008 in Piru, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-44-180, registration: N2922X
Injuries: 3 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 CFI certified flight instructor reported that during a night time training flight, the student pilot was conducting a series of simulated instrument approaches when the airplane started to encounter light to moderate turbulence. As the CFI and student pilot terminated one of the practice approaches, the airplane encountered "severe turbulence" followed by both engines losing power. The CFI initiated a forced landing to a dark area adjacent to a highway. During the descent, the CFI stated he was able to restart the left engine but had no throttle response and was unable to restart the right engine. As the descent continued, the CFI "…pulled both mixtures back to idle cutoff and pulled the fuel valves to off." He added that he was unable to see the ground until the airplane was about 50 feet above ground level. Subsequently, the airplane impacted trees and the ground before it came to rest within a small open field. The pilot-rated student receiving instruction reported while maneuvering the turbulence "became extreme" and the "airplane jolted strongly." The student pilot recalled that after the turbulence encounter, both engines lost power and despite numerous attempts, the engines would not restart. The student pilot stated after the landing, he attempted to secure the airplane and noted he was unable to move the fuel selectors to the "OFF" position and that the fuel selectors were "jammed/broken." Recovery personnel reported that 20 gallons of 100-low led fuel were drained from each wing fuel tank. Examination of the recovered airframe and fuel system revealed no evidence of pre-impact anomalies. Examination of the left and right engines and system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical anomalies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. Contributing factors were the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing and dark night conditions. Full narrative available
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