On April 24, 1994, about 1530 hours eastern daylight time, N5855W, a Piper PA-28-160, operated by the owner/pilot, was substantially damaged during landing in New Carlisle, Ohio. The certificated private pilot and his three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight originated from the New Carlisle Airport at 1500 hours and was conducted under 14 CFR 91.

According to the pilot, he entered the traffic pattern at the Barnhart Memorial Airport for a landing on a turf runway oriented along a magnetic bearing of 280 degrees. The pilot stated that he checked the mixture control, reduced power and began a turn onto the base leg. He again checked the mixture as he turned onto the final approach leg. The pilot further stated:

[The] decent rate was normal and indicated airspeed was 80 to 85 [miles per hour]. Touchdown aim point looked good until strong turbulence was encountered about 200 feet [above ground level] with sudden loss of altitude.... I added power to ensure reaching the runway, or abort landing if necessary, but could not get enough power to reach the runway.

According to FAA aviation safety inspectors, the airplane landed short of the runway, traveled thorough a fence, across an elevated road, shearing the nose and left landing gear, and came to rest in a field. An examination of the engine and airframe did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical discrepancies.

In a written statement to the NTSB after the accident, the pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions. He also stated that the reason the engine did not produce power was because:

The mixture control was apparently pulled out to cutoff position by a head set cable use by the 11 year old passenger in the right front seat. The cable was looped tightly about the mixture control knob. Turbulence and passenger movement possibly cause this.

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