August 10, 2010, Washington, Ga., Piper PA-32R-301


At about 0215 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees while making a forced landing following a loss of engine power during cruise. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed.

According to preliminary ATC information, during cruise flight at 7000 feet msl, the pilot reported a loss of engine power. He was then radar vectored by ATC towards the closest airport. Approximately three nautical miles southeast of the divert airport, radar contact was lost as the airplane descended below the radar coverage area. The wreckage was located in a heavily wooded area approximately 1.6 miles southeast of the divert airport. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site. Both the landing gear and the flaps were in the retracted position. The fuel selector valve was in the right tank position and the valve contained approximately a teaspoon of fuel. The mixture control was in the idle cutoff position. The propeller revealed no evidence it had been rotating when the accident occurred.


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