DEN99LA046
DEN99LA046

On February 27, 1999, approximately 1215 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-23C Aztec, N6574Y, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Lamar, Colorado. The airline transport certificated pilot and his airline transport pilot certificated passenger were not injured. The airplane was being operated by the owner under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight that originated from Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas, approximately 3 hours, 5 minutes prior to the accident. No flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that he worked all day on February 26, 1999, and he took a late flight from Seattle to Fort Worth. The previous owner of the airplane stated that "one of his partners picked up the pilot and his passenger from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at approximately 0530." The pilot reported that he flew N6574 for approximately one hour in the Fort Worth area "to check the airplane out, and get used to it." He stated that after "some breakfast," he departed Fort Worth Meacham International Airport for Denver, Colorado, with 144 gallons of fuel onboard.

According to the pilot, he had used all the fuel in the auxiliary tanks and had switched back to the main tanks. Approximately 20 minutes later, the left engine lost power. The pilot attempted to manipulate the fuel cross-feed system, and he made several restart attempts of the left engine. He turned the airplane towards Lamar, Colorado, and then the right engine lost power. He landed the airplane in an alfalfa field approximately 425 miles from where it departed. During landing roll, he pulled the airplane back into the air to hop an irrigation ditch. The field on the other side was freshly plowed and the nose wheel landing gear separated from the airplane when it contacted the soft earth. Subsequently, the nose cone was pushed up and back, and both engine mounts were bent.

Postaccident examination of the main fuel tanks revealed that approximately 8 gallons had been used from each. No evidence was found during the investigation to indicate that there were any abnormalities in the fuel feed system.

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