The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing at about 0005 Eastern time, following loss of engine power while on approach. The private pilot incurred minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed.
After turning final and performing an extended slip, the pilot pushed the propeller control forward and the engine made an unusual noise. The pilot switched from the left fuel tank feed to the right one and determined he was not going to be able make a safe landing on the runway. He performed the engine failure checklist by memory and lined up on a lighted parking lot, executing an emergency landing about ½ nm short of the runway. Although the left wing tank was punctured, no fuel pooling, leakage or fumes were present at the accident site. The right tank contained about 14 gallons of fuel.