On April 21, 2001, about 1800 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire equipped Stinson 108-3 airplane, N6912M, was destroyed by impact and a postimpact fire after colliding with trees during a forced landing, about 27 miles southwest of Glennallen, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The pilot, holder of a student pilot certificate, received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A VFR flight plan was not filed. The flight originated at the Cordova Municipal Airport, Cordova, Alaska, about 1600.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on April 23, 2001, the pilot reported he was in cruise flight about 4,000 feet msl. The engine suddenly began producing a heavy vibration. It also began to smoke and produce oil on the windshield, and then the propeller stopped. The airplane began to descend and the pilot turned toward a small frozen lake, located about 5 miles from a major highway. The area around the lake was surrounded by tall trees. The pilot selected a forced landing area between several trees in an area only large enough to fit the main fuselage. During the collision, the windshield was broken out, the cabin doors were torn off, and the wings were extensively damaged, including rupturing of the wing fuel tanks. The cockpit area remained intact and the pilot exited the airplane with a small backpack. A postcrash fire then erupted and the airplane was consumed.

The flight was not reported overdue, and no emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signals were detected by search and rescue personnel. The following day, the pilot said he used a handheld radio to contact an airplane flying over the area and requested assistance. The pilot of the other airplane landed on the small frozen lake and picked up the pilot.

The pilot holds a student pilot certificate, and has about 1,000 hours of flight time. The pilot reported the engine had accrued 1,060.13 hours since a major overhaul. Following the accident, portions of the airplane and engine were removed from the crash scene. On August 23, 2001, the pilot reported to the NTSB IIC that internal components of the engine failed and ruptured the engine case.

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