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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR16LA079
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 02, 2016 in Fountain Hills, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22-150, registration: N4356A
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot reported that, after a preflight inspection and engine run-up revealed no anomalies, he and a passenger departed, circled a nearby mountain, then descended to an altitude about 750 ft above ground level. Shortly thereafter, the engine experienced a partial loss of power. The pilot attempted to restore engine power, but was unsuccessful, and he elected to land the airplane on a dry wash. As the airplane touched down, the right main landing gear sank into the dirt, and the airplane made a sharp turn to the right. The airplane impacted a tree and came to rest nose down. The atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were not conducive to the formation of carburetor icing. A postaccident engine examination and test run revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation; therefore, the reason for the loss of partial engine power could not be determined.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • A partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.