On December 17, 1993, at 1400 hours mountain standard time, a Piper PA-23-250, N8769B, collided with a tree while performing an emergency landing in a meadow near Show Low, Arizona. The pilot was conducting an instrument flight rules personal flight to Plainview, Texas. The airplane, registered to and operated by John C. Morrison, Newport Beach, California, sustained substantial damage. The certificated airline transport pilot was not injured; his three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Santa Ana Airport, Orange County, California, at 1000 hours. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, that while enroute he selected the inboard fuel tanks. Immediately thereafter, the right engine began to cough and surge. The pilot immediately repositioned the fuel selector valves to the outboard fuel tanks, but without success. The right engine continued to surge intermittently.
The pilot elected to divert to Show Low Airport and executed an approach to runway 24. The final approach was too high and too fast to negotiate the runway and the pilot elected to execute a go-around. The pilot retracted the landing gear and applied full power to both engines. The right engine immediately began to lose power and the airplane was unable to gain sufficient altitude to return to the airport after crossing over the departure end of the runway.
The pilot elected to land on a dirt road as the surrounding terrain contained numerous rocks and was rough and uneven. The pilot extended the landing gears and successfully landed on the road. During the landing roll, the airplane swerved to the right and the airplane's right wing struck a tree.
A postaccident inspection of the aircraft by an aircraft mechanic with airframe and powerplant ratings revealed that the fuel valve on the right engine was "barely out of the off position." He examined the fuel valve and found the selector selected to the "outboard" position. After removing the floorboard, he found the linkage between the fuel switching point and the fuel valve was bent. The mechanic stated "the bend in the cable [linkage] restricted the full length of travel to fully open the fuel valve to the outboard position."