NTSB Identification: IAD02LA034.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 23, 2002 in Fredericksburg, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 170, registration: N3832V
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 pilot flew the airplane for 1 hour and 40 minutes, with no deficiencies noted. The pilot entered the airport traffic pattern, reduced power, and applied carburetor heat. When he turned onto the final approach course, he reduced the throttle to idle and the engine stopped producing power. The pilot was unable to glide to the runway, and performed a forced landing to a railroad bed. Examination of the airplane revealed that actuation of the carburetor heat control would not move the control arm on the air control box. Further examination revealed a kink in the control cable, about an inch above an unauthorized repair/modification to the control arm-cable connection. According to the owner, no repairs or modifications were made to the air control box actuating system since he purchased the airplane, nor was the modification noted or corrected during a recent annual inspection. Atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to carburetor icing at glide or cruise power settings.

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

The unauthorized modification of the air control box by unknown persons, and the failure of subsequent mechanics to note and correct the deficiency. Factors included the carburetor icing conditions and the unsuitable terrain mandated by the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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