Preliminary Accident Reports

April 2008 Issue

February 8, 2008. Piru, Calif., Piper PA-44-180 Seminole

At about 2026 Pacific time the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and the ground during an emergency landing following a reported loss of engine power. The flight instructor, pilot-rated student receiving instruction and one passenger sustained minor injuries. Dark night visual conditions prevailed. During a descent, the instructor noticed turbulence was becoming stronger and initiated a climb back to the original cruising altitude of 3500 feet. As the airplane climbed through about 3000 feet, a “severe jolt” shook the airplane followed by a loss of power in both engines. The instructor initiated a forced landing to an area that “appeared dark” to avoid hitting structures, and was unable to see the ground until the airplane was about 50 feet above ground level. Subsequently, the airplane stuck trees and impacted the ground.

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