CHI98LA363
CHI98LA363

On September 25, 1998, at 2340 central daylight time, a Piper PA-24, N5029P, was substantially damaged when the engine lost power and it landed in a bean field 400 yards short of runway 21 at Lamar Municipal Airport, Lamar, Missouri. The private pilot and the second pilot were not injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight departed from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and was en route to Lamar. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported the flight from Bartlesville to Lamar was uneventful until the airplane entered the landing pattern at Lamar. The pilot reported she entered the landing pattern and performed the pre-landing checklist. She lowered the landing gear, pulled carburetor heat on, turned the fuel pump on, switched to the fullest fuel tank, and reduced power. She reported she turned from downwind to base and noticed she was low on the approach. She reported she added power to increase the glide range. She reported she turned from base to final and added a little power, but "there wasn't any power there." She reported the second pilot switched magnetos and tried to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful. The second pilot took control of the airplane and turned to the left to land in a soybean field since there were powerlines and a railroad track between the airplane and the runway. The airplane landed in a left wing low attitude and the left wing hit the ground before the airplane skidded to a stop. The pilot reported she turned the switch off as she evacuated the airplane.

The second pilot reported he did a scan of the lower panel when the pilot reported that the airplane had lost power. The second pilot checked the boost pump, carburetor heat, magnetos, throttle, propeller, and mixture, but could not find anything wrong. He took control of the airplane and put in full flaps. He reported the drag of the beans on the left wing made the airplane yaw to the left and "probably made the lading gear failure. He reported that the pilot shut everything off when they exited the airplane.

An Airworthiness Inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration inspected the airplane. He reported that both fuel tanks were full, with only thirty minutes of fuel burned from one tank. All engine, propeller controls and flight controls were verified as being intact and operable. The fuel selector was found in the OFF position.

The inspector questioned the pilot and second pilot whether either of them had moved the fuel selector to OFF after the accident had occurred. The inspector reported that both emphatically stated they had not. The inspector removed the fuel drain plug from the carburetor and only a trace of fuel, two or three drops, came out.

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