NTSB Identification: FTW97LA291.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 31, 1997 in ABERNATHY, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N32185
Injuries: 2 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.

Shortly after takeoff, at an altitude of about 300 feet agl, the flight instructor closed the throttle to idle, simulating a loss of engine power. The private pilot 'applied full power at an altitude of approximately 200 feet agl, and recovery was successful.' The instructor again closed the throttle to idle when the aircraft was approximately 500 feet agl, and the pilot attempted full power recovery at an altitude of about 200 feet agl. 'However, this time the engine did not develop power.' The pilot initiated a force landing to a dirt road; however, the aircraft 'lost too much altitude.' During the landing, the airplane's right wing struck 'an iron pipe' used for irrigation that was located in the cotton field next to the road. The aircraft came to rest upright in the cotton field. Carburetor heat was not used during the simulated loss of engine power maneuvers. The temperature was 70 degrees Fahrenheit with a dew point of 66 at the time of the accident. According to the carburetor icing probability chart this places the airplane in the serious icing range at glide power.

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

The pilot's failure to use carburetor heat during serious carburetor icing conditions, and the flight instructor's inadequate supervision. Factors were the icing conditions and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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