NTSB Identification: DEN89LA214.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39899.
Accident occurred Monday, September 11, 1989 in WINSTON, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/13/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18A-150, registration: N9496D
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 PLT LEANED THE MIXTURE & TOOK OFF ON RWY 30, A HIGH ALT DIRT STRIP WITH A 3.8% UPHILL GRADIENT. WINDS WERE FROM THE NNW AT ABT 14 KTS. AT APRX 200' TO 300' AGL, THE ENG BEGAN TO LOSE POWER. THE ACFT SETTLED & CRASHED ON ROCKY TERRAIN AS THE PLT WAS AVOIDING TREES. FIRE CONSUMED THE ACFT. A TEARDOWN OF THE MARVEL-SCHEBLER MA4-SPA CARB REVEALED IT CONTAINED A COMPOSITE FLOAT (WHICH WAS DETERIORATED), PART OF THE FLOAT TOE WAS MISSING & THE NEEDLE VALVE WAS STUCK. THE VALVE & SEAT WERE COVERED WITH A SOFT/STICKY SUBSTANCE & THE INLET FILTER SCREEN WAS ALMOST ENTIRELY BLOCKED BY FOREIGN DEBRIS. AN STC HAD BEEN ISSUED FOR N9496D, WHICH ALLOWED USE OF AUTO FUEL.

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

DETERIORATED CARBURETOR FLOAT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE AND THE TERRAIN CONDITIONS IN THE EMERGENCY LANDING AREA.

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