NTSB Identification: FTW93LA106.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 51291.
Accident occurred Monday, March 15, 1993 in MENA, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/10/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-160, registration: N4341P
Injuries: 2 Serious,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.

DURING IFR ARRIVAL AT NIGHT, PILOT REQUESTED & WAS CLEARED FOR VOR/DME-A APPROACH, THOUGH THE AIRPLANE WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH DME. HE WAS CLEARED TO DESCEND & MAINTAIN 4200' MSL UNTIL REACHING VOR. HE STATED THAT AFTER REACHING VOR, HE WAS MAKING A (PROCEDURE) TURN TO INTERCEPT INBOUND COURSE (105 DEGREES), WHEN AIRPLANE BEGAN LOSING ALTITUDE. HE APPLIED FULL POWER, BUT WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE. RADAR DATA SHOWED THAT AFTER STARTING PROCEDURE TURN, AIRPLANE CROSSED INBOUND RADIAL, HEADING EAST, & CONTINUED 13 MILES. PILOT THEN TURNED SOUTH TO INTERCEPT INBOUND COURSE, BUT AIRPLANE CONTINUED DESCENT. IT CRASHED ON RISING MOUNTAIN SLOPE ABOUT 15 MILES NORTHWEST OF AIRPORT AT ABOUT 2300' MSL. MINIMUM DESCENT ALTITUDE WAS 2360'. NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL PROBLEM WAS FOUND. SURFACE TEMPERATURE/DEW POINT WERE 43/40 DEGREES WHICH WAS CONDUCIVE TO CARBURETOR ICE. PASSENGER STATED THEY ENCOUNTERED SEVERE CARBURETOR ICING & POSSIBLE EN ROUTE STRUCTURAL ICE, PILOT CYCLED CARBURETOR HEAT OFF & ON AS ICE WAS BURNED OFF & USED AIRSPEED INDICATOR AS ICE INDICATOR.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE PILOT'S IMPROPER USE OF CARBURETOR HEAT, HIS IMPROPER IFR PROCEDURES, DARKNESS, AND THE HIGH (MOUNTAINOUS) TERRAIN.

Full narrative available

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