On February 20, 2010, about 1850 central standard time, a Piper PA-46-310P, N43368, experienced a total loss of engine power following an in flight fire near Nashville, Tennessee. The pilot successfully completed a forced landing at the Nashville International Airport (BNA). The certificated commercial pilot and three passengers were not injured and the airplane received minor damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated at Winchester Municipal Airport (BGF), Winchester, Tennessee, and was destined for Iowa City Municipal Airport (IOW), Iowa City, Iowa.

The pilot stated that while in cruise flight at 12,000 feet the alternator light illuminated and he smelled smoke. He declared an emergency, diverted to the nearest airport, and noted a complete loss of engine power during the descent. The pilot then completed the forced landing at BNA, and evacuated the airplane. No visible damage or open flames were observed after landing, but light smoke emanated from the cowling for several minutes.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector at the scene revealed fire damage in the engine compartment between the firewall and rear engine baffle. The airplane was recovered from the site for a detailed examination at a later date.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in March 2009. The pilot reported 2,632 total hours of flight experience, of which 162 were in the incident airplane's make and model. He had accrued 64 hours in the airplane make and model in the 90 days prior to the incident, and 14 hours in the airplane make and model in the 30 days prior to the incident.

FAA records indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1984, and was registered to Big Sky, Inc in January 2008. It was equipped with a 300-horsepower, Teledyne-Continental TSIO-520 engine. The tricycle landing gear was retractable and hydraulically actuated.

On February 23, 2010, a detailed examination of the airplane was performed by the FAA inspector. Examination revealed fire damaged seals, fuel lines, drive belts, pulleys, the top of the engine cowling, and the right nose landing gear door. The fuel control unit feed and return lines were loose at the rear engine baffle fittings. Inspection of maintenance invoices revealed that the starter adapter was replaced on February 19, 2010, approximately 9 hours before the accident. The starter and starter adapter were located below the loose fuel control unit fuel lines.

At 1853, the weather reported at BNA included winds from 170 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; broken clouds at 20,000 feet; temperature 11 degrees Celsius (C); dew point -5 C; and the altimeter setting was 30.09 inches of mercury.

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