NTSB Identification: LAX98LA047.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 26, 1997 in PALMDALE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 182F, registration: N3543Y
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.

The pilot received a weather briefing using DUATS and departed the airport with no discrepancies noted with the aircraft or engine. Once airborne he activated his IFR flight plan with FSS and received his IFR clearance 10 miles north of Palmdale. He climbed to his assigned altitude of 8,000 feet msl, noted that the outside air temperature gage read +2 degrees Celsius and he turned on pitot heat. Over Palmdale he encountered IMC conditions that included heavy rain, moderate turbulence and updrafts. He reduced the power and approximately 1 minute later there was a loss of engine power. The pilot completed the emergency checklist and made two attempts to restart the engine. He declared an emergency and was provided with radar vectors to Palmdale. After touchdown in a soggy field the nose gear came off and the aircraft came to rest inverted. The aircraft recovery personnel noted that conditions at the site were 45 degrees Fahrenheit with rain and sleet. They also noted that there was a piece of ice the size of a snowball covering the fuel vent. Weather in the vicinity of Palmdale at the time of the accident was reported as 1 mile visibility with rain and a broken ceiling of 3,000 feet msl. The weather reported the previous hour was 10 miles visibility with few clouds at 3,000 feet msl and scattered at 5,000 feet msl. PIREPS in the Palmdale vicinity indicated moderate rime ice ranging in altitude from 11,000 to 21,000 feet msl by commercial aircraft.

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

Loss of engine power due to icing conditions which plugged the fuel system vent.

Full narrative available

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