Place holder until NTSB provides more in a preliminary report.
The pilot reported that the airplane, which was used for sky diving operations, was climbing through 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl) when he heard an explosion followed by a metal grinding noise coming from the engine section of the airplane. He felt the airplane vibrate, and smoke began to fill the cabin. He reported that the engine was not producing any power so he shut the fuel off and performed procedures to rid the cabin of smoke.
A witness reported that the airplane touched down within 1,000 feet of the runway threshold. The airplane rolled about 200 feet, and the nose gear collapsed. The airplane then veered left and came to rest inverted. The witness added that the nose gear collapse left scrape marks on the runway. Examination of the airplane revealed that the upper link of the nose gear torque knee had failed.