NTSB Identification: WPR12FA058
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 08, 2011 in Coupeville, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-200, registration: N2611R
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.

Witnesses located adjacent to the accident site reported observing the accident airplane approaching their position at a low altitude while over water and that it appeared as if the pilot were attempting to land in an open prairie located at the top of a cliff. The witnesses stated that as the airplane moved closer, they did not hear the engine as the airplane impacted a bluff just below a ridgeline and a postimpact fire ensued. One witness stated that it appeared the propeller was windmilling before impact with terrain. First responders extinguished the fire with an unspecified amount of water from a fire truck. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. However, during the postaccident examination, evidence of water was located within the airframe fuel filter and engine fuel flow divider. Due to the damage sustained to the airframe and engine, it could not be determined if the water was introduced into the system during postaccident firefighting efforts or from another source.

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

The total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal evidence of preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Full narrative available

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