On June 18, 2005, at 1630 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N5TJ, registered to and operated by the private pilot, collided with trees during a forced landing at the Luka Airport, in Luka, Mississippi. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot and two passengers received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Tunica, Mississippi, on June 18, 2005, at 1530.

According to the pilot, during cruise flight the engine suddenly began running rough. He said he adjusted the mixture, turned on the fuel pump, applied carburetor heat and switched the fuel selector from the left fuel tank to the right fuel tank with no improvement in engine operation. Using his GPS, the pilot stated that he selected the nearest airport which was the Luke, Mississippi, airport and setup for an emergency landing. He said he spotted the runway on his right, and said that his altitude was about 2,000 feet. He said that he did not think he could make it to the other end of the field to runway 36 to land into the wind. The pilot attempted to land on runway 18, but was too fast and too high and overshot the runway surface and collided with trees off the end of runway 18. He said the next thing he remembers was a bystander coming over to assist them out of the airplane.

Examination of the engine found the Number two (2) cylinders exhaust valve broken at the valve head. A review of maintenance records revealed that the engine was overhauled on July 8, 1998, at a tachometer time of 2,433.0 hours. The engine's most recent annual inspection was completed on February 10, 2005, at an engine total time of 3,156.4 hours or 723.4 hours since major overhaul.

A review of information on file with the Federal Aviation Administration Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma Cit, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land on April 13, 2005. The pilot reported on the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 that his total time at the time of the accident was 63.6 hours. He also reported that his total time in this make and model of airplane was 17.3 hours with 9.2 hours as pilot in command.

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