NTSB Identification: ERA14LA369
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 31, 2014 in Helena, AL
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N9103K
Injuries: 4 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 have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 31, 2014, about 1400 central daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N9103K, operated by a private individual, was destroyed during a forced landing, following a total loss of engine power during cruise flight near Helena, Alabama. The private pilot and three passengers were seriously injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Dickson Municipal Airport (M02), Dickson, Tennessee. The flight originated from Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), Panama City, Florida, about 1230.

During an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot reported that the airplane was completely fueled prior to departure. The departure was uneventful and the airplane was cruising at 2,500 feet mean sea level. About 205 nautical miles into the trip, the engine suddenly lost all power without any prior indication or anomalies. The propeller continued to windmill as the pilot glided the airplane toward Bessemer Airport (EKY), Bessemer, Alabama. The airplane impacted trees about 1 mile south of EKY. During the impact with trees, the airplane rolled inverted and then impacted the ground. All four occupants were able to egress before the airplane was consumed by a postcrash fire.

A handheld Garmin 496 GPS was recovered from the cockpit and retained for further examination. The engine was also retained for further examination.

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