NTSB Identification: CHI01LA019.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 21, 2000 in SPRINGFIELD, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2001
Aircraft: Zenair CH2000, registration: N420ZA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was substantially damaged when it struck a gate and a fence during a forced landing after takeoff. The pilot said that at about 450 feet agl, "...the engine started to run very erratic with an appreciable loss of thrust...." He said that the engine was not producing enough thrust to maintain level flight. A forced landing was attempted on an airport road. No mechanical malfunction was listed in the pilot's written report. The aircraft engine was examined and the nut that secures the carburetor heat control cable housing was found loose. According to the inspectors report, "... full travel of the carburetor heat valve could not be achieved." A postaccident engine run was conducted and the engine ran at idle power with "slight roughness". Engine speed was increased to 1700 rpm and a magneto check performed with the right magneto showing about a 150-rpm drop, and the left showing about a 125-rpm drop. The engine produced 2400 static rpm at full throttle. The weather report listed the temperature and dew point as 13 degrees Celsius and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. According to the Carburetor Icing chart from Transport Canada, this temperature and dew point are in the range for serious icing potential at all power settings.

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

the loose carburetor heat control clamp bolt and carburetor heat not available to the pilot. Factors were the low altitude, the carburetor icing conditions, the fence and the security gate.

Full narrative available

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