February 4, 2010, Dolan Springs, Ariz., Piper PA-32R-301T


At about 1500 Mountain time, the airplane experienced an in-flight fire. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

About 30 minutes into the flight, at 9500 feet msl, the pilot smelled fuel. A few seconds later the smell became “overwhelming” and was accompanied by a sensation of deceleration. He immediately retarded the throttle and initiated a descent with the intention of making a forced landing. As he flared the airplane for landing, black smoke began to stream from the front of the airplane. After landing, the pilot and passenger immediately egressed the airplane. Smoke continued to billow from the engine compartment for an additional five minutes, followed by fire, which ultimately consumed the airplane.


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