NTSB Identification: SEA99LA043.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 12, 1999 in REXBURG, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N9578W
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The aircraft, which departed under visual flight rules and received no air traffic services, failed to arrive at its destination airport 9 nautical miles from its point of departure. After approximately two hours of searching, the aircraft wreckage, with the seriously injured pilot inside, was located off the north end of the destination airport runway (17/35). Ground scars observed in the area were consistent with the aircraft impacting short of the runway during a landing attempt to the south. Local police who responded to the crash scene noted fuel in both of the aircraft's fuel tanks, carburetor heat off, and the fuel selector in the OFF position; a local mechanic reported he found about 1/2 teaspoon of fuel in the carburetor float bowl after the accident. The pilot reported the accident occurred about 10 minutes after departure and that he believed the accident was due to 'engine failure due to unknown causes', but he could otherwise remember 'nothing of the flight, the engine problems prompting him to prepare for an emergency landing, or the crash....' A follow-up engine examination disclosed propeller damage consistent with low or no power at impact, but 'found no mechanical reason for the engine to stop running.' Further examination of the aircraft's carburetor disclosed a float valve retractor clip, which was an improper type for the installed float, laying in the bottom of the float bowl chamber. The temperature/dewpoint combination reported at the airport near the reported time of the accident posed a hazard of 'serious [carburetor] icing at glide power', according to FAA data.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. Full narrative available
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