NTSB Identification: CHI95LA085.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 07, 1995 in BENTON HARBOR, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23, registration: N2092P
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

WHILE IN CRUISE FLIGHT AT 7,000 MEAN SEA LEVEL, THE AIRPLANE SUFFERED A PARTIAL POWER LOSS TO THE RIGHT ENGINE, WHICH CONTINUED UNTIL THE PILOT SHUT DOWN THAT ENGINE. THE PILOT TRIED MIXTURES FORWARD (RICH), BOOST PUMPS ON, AND FUEL BACK ON MAIN TANKS. WHEN HE TRIED CARBURETOR HEAT, IT RESULTED IN A LOSS OF 300 RPM, WHICH HE CONSIDERED NORMAL, AND HE TURNED IT OFF AFTER 30 TO 45 SECONDS. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO CONDUCT AN ILS APPROACH IN IMC CONDITIONS, BUT THE LEFT ENGINE BEGAN TO LOSE POWER. THE PILOT THEN INITIATED A FORCED LANDING ATTEMPT. HE STATED THAT THE AIRPLANE BROKE OUT OF THE OVERCAST ABOUT 600 TO 900 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL IN SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW RESTRICTING VISIBILITY, PRIOR TO IMPACT WITH WIRES AND A TREE, DURING THE LANDING. THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS ABOUT FIVE MILES EAST OF THE AIRPORT. SUBSEQUENT EXAMINATION REVEALED NO PREEXISTING ANOMALIES.

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

the pilot's improper use of carburetor heat. Factors were carburetor icing conditions, snow, and blowing snow.

Full narrative available

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