NTSB Identification: ERA13LA097
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 23, 2012 in Lock Haven, PA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-200, registration: N2074T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 23, 2012, at 1330 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N2074T, was substantially damaged during impact with trees and terrain following a total loss of engine power in cruise flight near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that the airplane was in cruise flight at 7,500 feet when the engine began to “surge;” then shortly thereafter, stopped producing power. An engine restart attempt was unsuccessful, and through communication with air traffic control and crosschecking his GPS receiver, the pilot determined he was beyond gliding distance of the nearest airport. He selected a forced landing area in a clearing, but the airplane entered trees prior to the clearing and came to rest upright in flat, heavily wooded terrain.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and sea. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on January 6, 2011. He reported 400 total hours of flight experience on that date.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1970. At the accident site, the tachometer indicated 3,314 total aircraft hours.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site and all major components were accounted for at the scene. Both wings were separated during the accident sequence and scattered along the wreckage path. The elevator and vertical fin were impact damaged, but remained attached to the empennage. The cabin roof was removed by rescue personnel in order to extract the pilot.

A preliminary examination of the engine revealed metal particles in the oil filter and the finger strainer. The examination was then suspended, and a detailed examination of the engine was scheduled for a later date.

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