ANC94LA030
ANC94LA030

On January 22, 1994, at 1333 Alaska standard time, a wheel equipped Piper PA-28 airplane, N9193W, owned and operated by the pilot-in-command, collided with the terrain during a forced landing on runway 06 at the Merrill Field Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, following a loss of engine power. The private certificated pilot and one passenger were not injured and two passengers received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pleasure flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91, departed Merrill Field at about 1332 and the intended destination was Kenai, Alaska. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and there was no flight plan in effect.

Shortly after the accident, the pilot was interviewed at the scene by the NTSB investigator-in-charge. The pilot reported that at about 400 feet above the ground, following a takeoff from runway 24 at Merrill Field, the engine quit. He made a left turn back to Merrill Field with the intention of landing on runway 06.

The plane landed hard on runway 06 with the nose of the airplane canted to the left of the runway centerline. The airplane continued off the left side of the runway into a snow bank. The plane sustained substantial damage to its left wing.

The pilot said that he performed a preflight check on the airplane and found the wing and engine fuel sumps to be clear and free of contaminates. However, he did not use a container to recover the ported fuel from the "low point" sump on the belly of the plane. His pretakeoff check found the engine to be in proper working order.

Investigators examined the residual fuel in the plane's carburetor fuel bowl at the scene and found it to be free of contaminants. No problems were noted with the engine during a runup on January 31, 1994.

The pilot reported that in the process of removing the left wing fuel tank to effect repair of the damaged wing area, he found ice crystals in the bottom of the tank.

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