NTSB Identification: DEN89LA079.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38847.
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 22, 1989 in WOLF POINT, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/22/1990
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC, registration: N4627E
Injuries: 1 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 STUDENT PLT WAS ON A PRACTICE FLIGHT NEAR HIS RANCH STRIP. THE PLT SAID HE TOOK OFF THROUGH 'LIGHT' FOG AND AFTER CRUISING FOR 20 MINUTES, THE ENGINE BEGAN TO LOSE RPM AND POWER. FULL CARBURETOR HEAT AND FULL THROTTLE FAILED TO MAINTAIN ENGINE POWER. THE PLT SAID HE SELECTED A SNOW COVERED STUBBLE FIELD FOR A FORCED LANDING AND AT TOUCHDOWN THE MAIN LANDING GEAR ENTERED 12 INCHES OF CRUSTED SNOW AND THE PLANE NOSED OVER. A POST ACCIDENT INSPECTION BY AN A&P MECHANIC FAILED TO REVEAL EVIDENCE TO EXPLAIN THE REPORTED LOSS OF RPM. DURING AN ENGINE RUN THE ENGINE PERFORMED NORMALLY. OUTSIDE SURFACE AIR TEMP WAS REPORTED AS ZERO DEGS F AND THE DEWPOINT WAS -4 DEGS F.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE STUDENT PILOT TO USE CARBURETOR HEAT IN A TIMELY MANNER WHICH RESULTED IN A PARTIAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE INADEQUATE WEATHER EVALUATION THE PILOT MADE AFTER TAKING OFF AND FLYING THROUGH FOG DUE TO HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE.

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