NTSB Identification: MIA01FA021.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 31, 2000 in Zolfo Springs, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/03/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N8603E
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to a controller at Bartow Municipal Airport's Air Traffic Control Tower, the pilot had been in radio communications contact with the tower, and at 1404, he made a transmission stating, "Bartow Tower N8603E, 26 south my engine quit and I can see Wauchula Airport but I can't make it." According to the controller, the pilot further indicated that he was going to attempt a forced landing in an open field. The controller stated that he then declared an emergency for the pilot of N8603E, notifying Hardee County Emergency Services. At 1536,deputies with the Hardee County Sheriff's Office discovered the accident aircraft at the southern edge of the pasture, with about 0.5 miles of open, flat pasture behind the apparent touchdown point. The aircraft had incurred substantial damage, and pilot was fatally injured. There were no witnesses to the accident. During the landing rollout, the aircraft had impacted a tree with the left wing, and had continued on, impacting another tree at the propeller's spinner. After recovery from the pasture, the airframe, flight controls, and engine were given detailed examinations, and the engine was operated. No anomalies were found with the accident aircraft's airframe, flight controls, or engine.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, which resulted in the pilot executing a forced landing to an open field, and the aircraft subsequently impacting a tree during the landing rollout.

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