Preliminary Accident Reports

September 2009 Issue

July 14, 2009, Westley, Calif., Piper PA-46-310P

The airplane’s crew executed a forced landing at about 1000 Pacific time, following an in-flight fire. The flight instructor (CFI) and the private pilot were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed. During flight review, they encountered smoke in the cockpit, which was originating in the area of the copilot’s rudder pedals. The pilots performed the emergency procedures for an electrical fire, which included shutting down the electrical system. The CFI attempted to clear the smoke by opening the window vents. The smoke seemed to subside, but did not stop. The pilots elected to momentarily energize the electrical system to lower the landing gear.

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