NTSB Identification: DEN00LA054.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 26, 2000 in BOULDER, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M-20C, registration: N90MR
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 performed an extended downwind in the landing configuration with carburetor heat on and the power reduced to approximately 13 inches of manifold pressure. When he turned base to final, his engine began to steadily lose power. Attempts to increase the power were unsuccessful, and the pilot performed a forced landing. The weather conditions were outside of indicated carburetor icing conditions on the chart, but a review of the literature on carburetor icing indicates the unpredictable nature of this phenomenon. The power deterioration of this scenario was consistent with documented examples of carburetor icing. The FAA Flight Training Handbook states in the section under 'Descents (Maximum Distance Glides)' that during 'power-off descents, the engine should be cleared periodically to prevent excessive cooling and fouling.' The engine was test run on the airframe. According to the manufacturer's representative, the engine 'startup was immediate, and the engine ran smoothly.'

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

The pilot not following procedures in that he did not periodically clear the engine during an extended glide. The factors were carburetor icing, weather conditions conducive to carburetor ice, and lack of suitable terrain for landing.

Full narrative available

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