AAIB investigation to Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, G-BCJM

Engine malfunctioned and aircraft struck a sheep during forced landing, near Parbold, Lancashire, 28 August 2017.

Summary:

The aircraft departed Liverpool Airport for a training flight and, during the first 15 minutes, two practice engine failures were completed. Then, at approximately 2,300 ft while climbing with maximum engine rpm set, power suddenly reduced and the instructor took control and adopted a glide attitude. With the fuel pump already switched ON and mixture RICH, the other fuel tank was selected and the carburettor heat was set to HOT, but the engine rpm did not recover.

A suitable field was selected, a distress call was made and the engine was secured; the propeller continued to windmill until the aircraft was flared for landing. After touchdown the instructor spotted a low fence ahead and briefly lifted the aircraft off the ground again and “hopped” over the fence.

During the subsequent ground roll several sheep ran in front of the aircraft and one was hit, causing damage. The aircraft was stopped close to a second fence and the electrics and fuel were then turned OFF before the crew exited through the door. Some unidentified debris was later found in the carburettor but the examining engineer was unsure if this was sufficient to have caused the engine failure.

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Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, G-BCJM 01-18

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 11 January 2018