NTSB Identification: LAX96LA151.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 31, 1996 in SACRAMENTO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/17/1997
Aircraft: CESSNA 150L, registration: N5266Q
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.

During the final leg of a solo cross-country flight, the pilot reported to TRACON controllers that he was losing power and going down. The aircraft landed in a marsh area and nosed over after the landing gear encountered soft mud. The recording hour meter onboard the aircraft showed it had flown 4.6 hours since departing on the multiple stop round robin flight. Fueling records at the midpoint airport disclosed that the aircraft tanks were topped with 9.6 gallons of 100LL fuel. FAA inspectors performed a preliminary examination of the aircraft during the recovery operation and found the fuel system intact. No evidence of a fuel spill was noted under the airplane; however, an odor of fuel was detected from the ground. Just over 3 pints of fuel was drained from the fuel system. An analysis of flight manual performance charts revealed that the aircraft should have had sufficient fuel to complete the trip. Following aircraft recovery, a test run of the engine was conducted utilizing the existing airframe plumbing and electrical systems. The engine started and operated satisfactorily. A detailed examination of the aircraft disclosed no airworthiness discrepancies. The closest official weather observation station to the accident site was 5 miles east; it was reporting a temperature and dew point of 74 and 47 degrees, respectively. According to a carburetor icing probability chart, the temperature/dew point spread fell in a region on the chart annotated 'moderate icing --- cruise power or serious icing --- glide power.'

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

A loss of engine power due to carburetor ice and the student's failure to use carburetor heat. The carburetor icing (weather) condition was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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