NTSB Identification: LAX94LA182.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 05, 1994 in AVALON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N93508
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After an over water flight to Catalina Island, the pilot reported having engine trouble and that he was attempting to return to the Catalina airport. The airport is located on a mountain top in an area of the island with steep mountainous terrain. A witness saw the aircraft and heard the engine repeatedly accelerate to full power, interrupted by sputtering and periods of silence. A second witness reported seeing the aircraft in a turn attempting to gain altitude as it approached the higher terrain. Ten minutes later, fire department units responding to reports of a brush fire found the burning aircraft wreckage. The weather at the time included a 20 degree spread between dew point and ambient temperature. Carburetor icing probability charts revealed the aircraft had flown in conditions conducive to moderate icing at cruise power and serious icing at glide power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the failure of the pilot to apply carburetor heat as appropriate while conducting flight in conditions conducive for carburetor icing. A factor in the accident was the unsuitable steep mountainous terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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