August 2, 2008, West Kingston, R.I., Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow


At 1200 Eastern time, the airplane collided with the ground during a forced landing. Visual conditions prevailed. The airplane received substantial structural damage. The private pilot and three passengers reported no injuries.

The pilot later stated he was in cruise flight at 3000 feet when he noted an airframe vibration. After adjusting the engine controls, the airplane would not climb, and started a descent. The pilot selected the nearest airport on his GPS and proceeded toward it to make a precautionary landing. After two aborted attempts to land, the pilot increased power to gain altitude, and leaned the mixture, resulting in an “alarming” decrease in airspeed. Choosing to land on a sod field, he cut the throttle and lowered the flaps between 10 to 20 degrees and initiated an approach. However, he failed to latch the automatic gear lever in the override position to prevent the landing gear from extending. The airplane collided with the ground, skidded about 100 feet, made a left turn and came to a stop.


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