October 16, 2008, Markleeville, Calif., Piper PA-28R-201T


At about 1100 Pacific time the airplane collided with trees during an off-airport forced landing. The private pilot was killed; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

While en route, at 14,500 feet, the pilot reported engine problems. A controller provided vector to a nearby airport. A witness about two miles from the airport saw an airplane flying low, then disappear behind a hill. He went to investigate, and saw the inverted wreckage of the airplane.

Investigators established control continuity. They did not observe evidence of catastrophic engine failure, and sent the engine to the factory for a detailed examination.


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