On December 10, 1996, at 2203 eastern standard time, a Beech BE-24R, N6988R, collided with trees while maneuvering for an emergency landing three miles northeast of the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport near Doraville, Georgia. The personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with an instrument flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and pilot was not injured. The flight departed Roanoke, Virginia, at 1845.

The pilot received a weather briefing, filed an instrument flight plan, and completed a preflight inspection of the airplane; all aircraft systems checked out normal. The takeoff and climb out from Roanoke were described as routine. The pilot requested a change in routing to avoid the high terrain. He continued to check his ground speed, and was aware of the fuel burn rate; the flight was routine. As the flight approached the Atlanta area, the pilot started his let-down and was given an approach and landing clearance to runway 20L. About six miles from Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, the pilot reported encountering strong turbulence. At this point he reduced the throttle to slow the airplane. Once the airspeed and turbulence conditions were resolved, the pilot advanced the throttle; there was no response. After completing an unsuccessful restart procedure, the pilot informed the tower of his engine out condition, and requested assistance from the controller for the nearest opening for an emergency landing. The pilot spotted a dark area and established an approach for the emergency landing. He slowed the airplane to as low as possible airspeed and it settled into a stand of trees.

After the airplane was recovered from the trees, several gallons of fuel were removed from the fuel system; the engine was subsequently examined. The engine examination and functional run failed to disclose a mechanical problem. Examination of the airframe and related systems also failed to disclose a mechanical problem.

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