On May 28, 1994, at 1435 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Piper PA-20 airplane, N6174D, experienced a total power loss during departure climb from Anchorage International Airport. The private pilot executed a forced landing in a swampy area beside the airport crash-fire station, where the plane's landing roll was arrested by the station's chain link fence. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 in visual meteorological conditions for personal reasons on a flight from Anchorage to a beach location near Trading Bay on Cook Inlet. No flight plan was on file. The pilot and his passenger were uninjured, however the airplane sustained substantial damage.

The pilot stated that the engine began to run rough during climb at 500 feet altitude. He said that he requested an immediate landing at the Lake Hood strip, east of the Anchorage departure runways, however during the turn to that landing the engine experienced total loss of power and the forced landing in the swampy area was necessitated.

An external examination of the engine revealed a failure of a cylinder on the O-320 engine had occurred. Upon teardown examination, a failure of an exhaust valve at the stem, and it's subsequent ingestion, was apparent.

The private pilot had approximately 3000 hours pilot experience in type and one hundred in the previous 90 day. He was able to execute a precision forced landing to a swamp area less than 200 feet in length and utilize an chain-link fence as an arresting barrier.

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