NTSB Identification: FTW92LA188.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47332.
Accident occurred Saturday, July 25, 1992 in CARROLLTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N9240T
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.

THE PILOT WAS DESCENDING THE AIRPLANE INTO THE CONTROL ZONE AND HAD RECEIVED CLEARANCE TO ENTER A RIGHT BASE FOR RUNWAY 15 WHEN THE ENGINE QUIT AFTER HE APPLIED CARBURETOR HEAT. THE PILOT MADE A 180 DEGREE TURN AND DESCENDED OVER ONE OPEN GRASS FIELD AS HE ATTEMPTED TO GLIDE TO A DIRT FIELD. A FENCE AND A RAILROAD TRACK LAY BETWEEN THE FIELDS. THE AIRPLANE STRUCK THE FENCE, ROTATED APPROXIMATELY 180 DEGREES, AND DESCENDED OUT OF CONTROL TO IMPACT THE TERRAIN NEAR THE RAILROAD TRACKS. THE INVESTIGATION REVEALED THE MAIN VALVE FOR THE CARBURETOR HEAT BOX HAD FAILED AND WAS SUCKED INTO THE CARBURETOR INLET, BLOCKING AIR FLOW, AND RENDERED THE CARBURETOR INOPERATIVE. FURTHER INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT PORTIONS OF THE VALVE ASSEMBLY HAD BEEN FAILING FOR AN UNSPECIFIED TIME PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT AND ITS' RETAINING SCREWS HAD NOT BEEN SECURED PROPERLY.

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

THE PILOT'S SELECTION OF UNSUITABLE TERRAIN. FACTORS WERE THE FAILED CARBURETOR DE-ICE SYSTEM VALVE RESULTING IN AN INOPERATIVE CARBURETOR AND THE INADEQUATE ANNUAL INSPECTION BY COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL.

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