NTSB Identification: CHI00FA165.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, June 18, 2000 in Westfield, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Bellanca 7ECA, registration: N1195E
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While on initial climb after takeoff approximately 150 feet above ground level, the engine lost power. The pilot attempted to turn back to the departure airport and while maneuvering, lost control of the airplane, entered a stall/spin, and impacted a tree and the terrain. The engine induction system was examined and the scat-ducting that provides air to the heat-muff was obstructed by two pieces of foam inserted into the inlets located on the lower engine cowl. The carburetor heat selection lever was found in the full aft position. The full aft position of the lever would correspond to a maximum carburetor heat selection. According to the passenger, the airplane had just been washed prior to the accident flight. No additional anomalies were found with the airframe or the engine that could be associated to any pre-impact condition. According to a carburetor icing probability chart, the air temperature and dewpoint at the time of the accident had the potential of producing moderate icing at cruise power and serious icing at descent power. FAA publication FAA-P-8740-4A, entitled "SAFETY GUIDE FOR PRIVATE AIRCRAFT OWNERS", states, "The responsibility for determining that the aircraft is in safe condition for flight rests with the pilot. A very important part of the responsibility is the preflight inspection of the aircraft. Flight with an improperly inspected and serviced aircraft can result in an inflight emergency that could cause anxious moments for the pilot and passengers, and possibly terminate in a serious accident. There is no substitute for a thorough preflight inspection." FAA publication FAA-P-8740-44, entitled "Impossible Turn", states that, "Turning back is the worst possible action when the powerplant fails during climbout in a single [single engine airplane]."

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

The pilot's improper in-flight decison to maneuver back to the departure airport following the loss of engine power on initial climb, the pilot's loss of aircraft control and the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection of the airplane. Contributing factors to the accident were the obstructed induction air ducting, the weather condition that was conducive for carburetor icing, the low altitude maneuver attempted by the pilot, the encountered stall/spin and the tree.

Full narrative available

Index for Jun2000 | Index of months