The airplane was substantially damaged at about 2021 Eastern time when it collided with trees and terrain following a total loss of engine power on approach. The instructor pilot/owner-operator and the commercial-rated pilot receiving instruction sustained minor injuries. Night visual conditions prevailed.
After performing touch-and-go landings at nearby airports, the airplane was on final approach for its home base when the engine stopped producing power. The instructor said he then attempted an engine restart and ensured that best glide speed was maintained before the airplane struck trees and the ground. Examination revealed a separated right wing and damage to the cabin and empennage. The left wing tank was intact and contained no fuel. The right wing tank was intact and contained about three gallons of fuel.
An aircraft recovery specialist harvested the fuel from the right tank and placed it in the left fuel tank after the airplane was upright. Using the airplane’s own battery, an engine start was attempted. The engine started immediately, accelerated smoothly and ran continuously until stopped by the specialist at the controls.