DFW07CA059
DFW07CA059

While in cruise flight at 23,000 feet mean sea level, the 2,597-hours pilot reported that he heard a "medium loud pop" about one hour into the flight and noted an immediate drop in manifold pressure to approximately 15-inches. The pilot added that he thought the turbocharger had failed and that the engine would return to normal power when the airplane descended to an altitude below 10,000 feet. However, engine power never returned and the pilot elected to execute a forced landing to a muddy pasture. Two safety inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performed an on-scene examination of the airplane and the engine. According to an inspector, the pilot landed in a muddy pasture and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, engine fire wall, and landing gear. Examination of the engine, the accessories, and the fuel system revealed no mechanical deficiencies. When the airplane was recovered, approximately 90 gallons of blue colored aviation fuel was drained from both wing tanks and their respective collector/sump tanks, which were located at the root of each wing. Approximately one-quart of water was drained from both the left and right wing collector/sump tank, which can hold a total capacity of one U.S. gallon each. The engine was test-run on the airframe utilizing the airplane's existing fuel system. Due to the cool outside air temperature, the engine needed to be primed before it started. Once the engine started, it was operated through various power settings and it ran continuously without interruption. The magnetos functioned normally and all engine gauge readings were normal. No mechanical deficiencies were noted that could have contributed to the loss of power. The pilot stated that he conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane, which included draining both collector/sump tanks. The pilot added that no water was detected in the fuel at that time.

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