On June 23, 1994, at 1230 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-235 aircraft, N8549C, collided with ground obstructions during a forced landing near Cloverdale, California. The forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power during cruise. The aircraft was owned and operated by the pilot and was on a personal cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. The pilot was not injured. The flight originated at Covelo airport on the day of the accident at 1200 with a destination of Oakland, California.

In a telephone interview, the pilot reported he was cruising at 5,500 feet when the engine sputtered a couple of times. He looked at the fuel pressure gauge, and pressure indication was decreasing. After turning on the fuel pump, the pilot switched fuel tanks from the left main to the right main. After doing so, the engine did not respond. The pilot said he then shut everything off and made a forced landing in a river bed.

On June 29, an examination was conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who reported that aircraft electrical and fuel continuity were established. No visible signs of detonation were observed in the engine cylinder. No obstructions were noted in the fuel lines. The engine was started and run 15 minutes at 3 different power combinations.

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