CHI02LA245
CHI02LA245

On August 7, 2002, at 2000 central daylight time, a Piper Tri-Pacer (PA22-150), N8910D, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged during a precautionary landing attempt approximately two miles southeast of Sauk City, Wisconsin. The pilot reported that he experienced a partial loss of engine power while in cruise flight. The airplane departed from Reedsburg Municipal Airport (C35), Reedsburg, Wisconsin, and was returning to Sauk City when the engine problem occurred. The airplane is based at a turf field, an off-airport location, near Sauk City. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 and was not on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. The pilot and one passenger reported minor injuries. The second passenger reported no injuries.

In his written statement, the pilot noted that the engine started to miss. He located an emergency landing site and circled the area while trying to resolve the problem. He stated that he "checked carb icing, mags and mixture." Since he was losing altitude, he decided to land in the selected field instead of attempting to reach the farm runway (where the aircraft is based). He states: "Used full flaps, cleared high wires, slipped down and touched down at about 70 mph. Pulled hard on brakes for 130~150 yards and hit farmers fence. Plane tipped forward and came to a stop."

The FAA inspector on-scene performed an engine examination. He noted a lack of compression and a stuck exhaust valve on the forward/right cylinder. No other abnormalities were noted. In addition, the inspector estimated the available landing distance at approximately 1,500 feet, and described it as a newly mowed hay field.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land rating issued July 27, 1993. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued in April 1999. The pilot reported accumulating 100 hours total time, all of which were in the same make and model as the accident aircraft, and 2 hours within the last 90 days. The FAA inspector assigned to the accident reviewed the pilot's logbook and noted that no flight review endorsements had been entered since his private pilot certificate was issued.

Weather conditions at the scene were reported by the pilot as clear, 15 miles visibility and calm winds. Conditions at the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN), Madison, Wisconsin, 16 nm to the southeast, at 1953 cdt, were reported as clear, 10 miles visibility and winds from 050 deg at 3 knots.

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