DEN06LA040
DEN06LA040

On February 20, 2006, approximately 0720 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-235, N9149W, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged during a forced landing on a dirt road, 12 miles southeast of Torreon, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating without a flight plan under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot and 3 passengers on board the airplane were not injured. The cross country flight originated at Santa Fe, New Mexico approximately 0650 and was en route to Crownpoint, New Mexico.

The pilot reported that "approximately 25 minutes into the flight, the engine quit - 2,350 rpm to zero rpm reading." The pilot attempted to restart the engine but the engine would not start. The pilot then executed a forced landing to a dirt road. The pilot said, "We touched down with the road veering slightly to the right and bounced once becoming airborne again. The plane yawed to the right and when I straightened the aircraft we touched down a second time left of center on the dirt road and shoulder. The bar ditch had been graded so as to drain into the field adjacent to the road. When we struck the perpendicular ditch, the nose gear gave way forcing us to a stop."

An on-scene examination of the airplane showed the nose wheel broken aft, the lower cowling crushed upward, the engine and engine mounts bent upward, and the lower firewall bent upward and aft. Flight control continuity was confirmed.

The airplane's engine was examined at Greeley, Colorado on April 21, 2006. The examination showed the left magneto impulse coupling broken and the magneto drive gear jammed. The adjacent camshaft gear showed 4 broken teeth. Milled metal was found around the drive coupling and camshaft gear. No other anomalies were found.

The airplane had undergone an annual inspection on July 16, 2005. The airframe time at the annual inspection was 4,173 hours. The airframe time at the time of the accident was 4,214 hours. The time since the last engine overhaul was 998 hours.


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