June 29, Chester, Calif. / Piper Cherokee Six


At 20:29 Pacific time, a Piper PA-32-260 ditched into Lake Almanor after the engine lost power during initial climb from Rogers Field. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The pilot said the flight was his fourth flight of the day in the aircraft. He started the day in Stockton with full fuel tanks. He flew to Chester, then to Reno (Stead) and back to Chester. The total was about 2 hours and 30 minutes and the airplane was not serviced after departing Stockton. According to the pilot, full fuel is sufficient for about 5 hours flying. The pilot said the takeoff on runway 16 was routine, the engine was smooth and powerful and all the instruments were in their normal operating ranges. The fuel selector was on the right tank and there were about 17 gallons fuel in that tank. At about 150 feet agl, he reduced the propeller RPM and the engine began cutting out but did not totally quit. He verified that the fuel boost pump was on, and recalled that the fuel pressure gauge was in the green arc. He changed fuel tanks but had no more time to restart the engine before ditching in the lake.


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