NTSB Identification: IAD97LA121.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 21, 1997 in WESTMINSTER, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2000
Aircraft: Pohlman/Pohlman ROTORWAY EXEC 90, registration: N94CJ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The pilot remained in the traffic pattern for 40 minutes in his homebuilt helicopter, performing takeoffs and landings. At 200 feet on final approach with 19 inches of manifold pressure set, the engine stopped running. During the forced landing, the pilot maneuvered to avoid an embankment and impacted the ground damaging the tail boom and rotor blades. Examination of the engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions. The temperature/dew point was: 57 degrees Fahrenheit and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Utilizing the 'Icing Probability Curves' charts, these temperatures combined with a glide power setting, placed the carburetor within the serious icing range. Examination of the helicopter revealed that the carburetor heat was preset prior to the flight and not accessible from inside the cockpit. After the accident, the FAA recommended to the manufacturer that a switch be placed in the cockpit. The manufacturer completed a modification allowing control of the carburetor heat from inside the cabin.

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

The loss of power due to carburetor icing. A factor to this accident was the carburetor heat was not accessible from within the cockpit.

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