NTSB Identification: FTW96FA108.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 28, 1996 in CONWAY, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N757UK
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After about 75 minutes of uneventful flying, the engine RPM began to fluctuate. While attempting to adjust throttle and mixture, the pilot noticed an engine RPM 'drop into the teens.' Level flight could not be maintained. Gusty winds were encountered during a circling approach to a large, flat field. During the last descending turn, the pilot recalled that the airplane's nose was 'diving quickly toward the ground', and that the stall warning activated briefly. Witnesses said the aircraft was maneuvering slowly and low to the ground, then it descended steeply and crashed. Ground scars revealed that the aircraft impacted left wing down and about 45 degrees nose down relative to the terrain. Atmospheric conditions were not conducive for carburetor icing. Fuel samples from the aircraft and refueling source were found to be within standards. With the exception of worn/fouled spark plugs and out of tolerance valve tappet clearances, no conclusive mechanical anomalies were found. The engine was operated to 2360 RPM in a factory test cell (but the run was terminated due to vibrations induced from impact damage).

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

loss of engine power for undetermined reason(s), and failure of the pilot to maintain adequate airspeed, while maneuvering for a forced landing, which resulted in an inadvertent stall at low altitude. The gusty wind condition was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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