NTSB Identification: LAX01LA099.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 15, 2001 in Auburn, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/05/2002
Aircraft: Beech 77, registration: N18152
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Prior to taking off, the airplane sat for about 10 minutes near the approach end of the runway. The pilot indicated that during this time no carburetor heat was applied to the engine. Thereafter, when he commenced taking off, full engine power was not produced. The airplane climbed between 250 and 300 feet above the runway, descended and impacted trees, and then collided with terrain about 1,500 feet beyond the runway's departure end. The pilot indicated that the accident could have been prevented had he, before initiating his takeoff and while waiting for landing traffic, applied carburetor heat to the engine. At the time, the temperature and dew point were 9 and 1 degree Celsius, respectively. According to a standard reference icing probability chart, the atmospheric conditions were in the range considered favorable for carburetor ice formation. The pilot reported that no mechanical malfunctions or failures were experienced with the airplane. The engine was subsequently examined, and no evidence of any internal mechanical malfunction was noted. The mixture control cable was found improperly rigged. As a result, when the cockpit mixture control was set to the full rich position, the mixture control arm on the carburetor was between the midrange position and 2/3 of the way to the idle cutoff position. The significance of the incorrect rigging to the loss of engine power could not be established.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A partial loss of engine power during initial takeoff climb due to the formation of carburetor ice. A contributing factor was the pilot's improper pretakeoff actions. A finding was that the improper rigging of the mixture control cable may have precluded establishment of the proper fuel/air combustion ratio.
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