DFW05LA183
DFW05LA183

On July 16, 2005, approximately 0930 central daylight time, a single-engine Piper PA-28R-200 airplane, N33720, registered and operated by LJS Aviation Enterprises LLC of Lombard, Illinois, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near the Pollock Municipal Airport (L66) near Pollock, Louisiana. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The 497-nautical mile cross-country flight departed from the Hillsboro Municipal Airport (INJ), near Hillsboro, Texas, approximately 0800, destined for the Atmore Municipal Airport (OR1), near Atmore, Alabama

The 4,095-hour pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that, after about an hour into the flight, he switched the fuel tank selector valve to the left tank and then, "burn[ed] that tank for about 35 minutes." The pilot climbed to 4,500 feet, when "the engine began to run rough for about 5 [to] 10 seconds and lost power." The pilot also stated, "it felt like a fuel tank had been run dry, but only 5 gallons had been burned from 24 usable." The pilot then stated, that "the fuel pressure was good" and thus decided to switch the fuel selector valve back to the right fuel tank. An in-flight restart was unsuccessful.

The pilot prepared for an emergency landing at L66. After realizing he was not going to make it to the airport, the pilot elected to land in a rutted "trunk pipe line," approximately three miles north of L66. The airplane came to rest in an upright position.

Examination of the airplane by the pilot revealed the stabilator was damaged, the nose gear and main landing gear collapsed, and the left wing was torn approximately 18-inches by an 8-foot tall by 4-inche in diameter metal pole.

The airplane was recovered to the facilities of Dawson Aircraft, Inc., near Clinton, Arkansas, for further examination. During the recovery process, the recovery crew noted that approximately 12 gallons of fuel was drained from the left wing fuel tank, and approximately eight gallons of fuel was drained from the right wing fuel tank. The fuel removed from the airplane was found to be free of contamination.

Examination of the Lycoming O-360-CIC engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and an airframe and powerplant mechanic was conducted on August 24, 2005, at the facilities of Dawson Aircraft, Inc. The FAA inspector noted that while attempting to establish engine continuity, the number three cylinder had no compression and appeared to be seized. The number three cylinder was removed and the inspector noted that the piston cooling nozzle assembly was missing. It was also noted that the number three piston apron and all eight hydraulic tappet bodies were heavily damaged. The piston cooling nozzle assembly was later found in three pieces in the oil sump, along with numerous metal fragments. The threaded portions of the piston cooling nozzle assembly and its crankcase receptacle were not damaged.

At 0939, the automated surface observing system at the Alexandria International Airport (AEX), near Alexandria, Louisiana, located approximately 7 miles north east of the accident site reported calm wind, visibility of 10 statute miles, overcast cloud layer at 1,000 feet, temperature 81 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 73 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 30.06 inches of Mercury.

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