CHI95LA085
CHI95LA085

On February 7, 1995, at 1520 eastern standard time, a Piper PA- 23, N2092P, registered to Ronald A. Hoffmeyer of Hampshire, Illinois, and operated by an instrument rated commercial pilot, suffered a partial loss of power on one engine while in cruise flight. While attempting an ILS approach to a precautionary landing at Benton Harbor, Michigan, a power loss on the remaining engine occurred. The airplane impacted wires, trees, and the terrain approximately five miles short of runway 27 at Benton Harbor, Michigan. The airplane received substantial damage. The pilot and two passengers reported no injuries. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating on an IFR flight plan in instrument meteorological conditions. The flight had departed Waukegan, Illinois, at 1330 central standard time, with the intended destination of Plymouth, Michigan.

The pilot stated that the right engine began "missing" and lost power gradually. He stated that he tried mixtures forward (rich), boost pumps on, and fuel back on mains. When he applied carburetor heat, he observed a loss of 300 rpm, which he considered normal and turned it off after 30 to 45 seconds.

When the first engine began to lose power, the airplane was on "top" of an overcast, according to the pilot, but after losing power the airplane descended into the clouds (visible moisture). While in the clouds, he elected to shut down the right engine due to the continued roughness. After the right engine was shut down and during the descent the left engine began to lose power which continued. The pilot decided that continued flight to the airport was not possible and he elected to make an off airport emergency landing. The pilot stated that the airplane "broke out" between 600 and 900 feet above ground level with snow and blowing snow restricting visibility.

An examination of the engines and airframe subsequent to the accident failed to reveal any pre-existing anomalies.

Temperature and dew point for Benton Harbor, Michigan, were 21 degrees (F), and 13 degrees (F) respectively.

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