On September 25, 1996, about 1000 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28, N8822W, registered to and operated by the private pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain while attempting an emergency landing. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot and one passenger sustained minor injuries while the third passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight originated from the Crescent Lake Airport, Crescent Lake, Oregon approximately 20 minutes prior to the accident.

During a telephone interview, the pilot stated that while in cruise configuration he experienced a loss of engine power and attempted an off-field landing. The pilot also stated that due to the nature of the terrain he was unable to reach a suitable landing site and subsequently landed in a heavily wooded area, 30 miles south of Paisly, Oregon.

The pilot stated that a post-crash teardown of the engine revealed geartrain failure. The engine's time since overhaul was approximately 2,400 hours. According to Lycoming service data, recommended time between overhauls for this engine is 2,000 hours.

The FAA received an anonymous report of the accident and notified the NTSB on January 19, 1999. The pilot stated that he assumed the NTSB had already been notified by local and state officials.

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