On March 4, 1996, at 1750 central standard time, a Piper PA-23-250, N40273, operated by a private owner under Title 14 CFR Part 91, impacted water during approach to the Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport near Sulphur Springs, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the private pilot sustained minor injuries. The flight originated from Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 1615 and the intended destination was Tyler, Texas.

The pilot reported that a partial loss of right engine power occurred during cruise flight about 20 miles north of Sulphur Springs. He further reported that "it felt like the turbo was out." Subsequently, the pilot made a decision to divert to Sulphur Springs and, while maneuvering to the airport, noted that the gear down indicator lights did not illuminate when he placed the gear handle down. After manually extending the landing gear, the pilot realized that he "didn't have enough altitude to reach [the] airfield." A witness saw the airplane "flying very low" over Lake Sulphur Springs and reported the airplane's "right wing hit water and the plane abruptly went nose first into the water."

After the airplane was pulled from the lake by local authorities, it was examined by an FAA inspector. The inspector reported that the outboard right wing was separated from the airframe, and the fuselage and left wing sustained structural damage.

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