FTW97LA230
FTW97LA230

On June 18, 1997, at 1238 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300T, N8056Y, registered to and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged during landing at Del Norte, Colorado. The private pilot, the only occupant aboard, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the business flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Durango, Colorado, approximately 1130.

The pilot was interviewed by telephone by the NTSB investigator in charge shortly after the accident. He said the engine began running rough on his descent into Del Norte. He switched fuel tanks, but this had no positive effect. The first landing approach to runway 26 was high and fast, and he elected to make a go around. His second landing approach was "more stabilized," but his attention was diverted by the rough running engine. When the airplane touched down, the nose and right main landing gear were on the runway but the left main landing gear was on the runway shoulder. When the pilot returned the airplane to the runway, the left main landing gear struck the lip of a taxiway and was torn off. The airplane came to a halt on its left wing.

In the pilot's written accident report, he said the engine began running rough "with almost a total loss of power" while the airplane was descending on the downwind leg. He made no reference to the balked landing attempt. After establishing the best glide profile, he enriched the mixture, verified the fuel pump was on, and switched fuel tanks. With no noticeable power improvement, the pilot opened the alternate air door and leaned the mixture. During the landing roll, the airplane struck "the lip of a newly poured asphalt taxiway leading off the runway," collapsing the left main landing gear.

The engine was examined at Mountain View Airmotive, Inc., a repair facility in Alamosa, Colorado. It was discovered the fuel injector nozzles were partially blocked by a gummy residue.

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