NTSB Identification: SEA03LA020.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, December 23, 2002 in Chehalis, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2003
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-1, registration: N5985L
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On the day of the accident, the pilot landed at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport and then had lunch with his son. After lunch, the pilot and his son decided to take a short flight to look at some nearby property. After takeoff, the pilot climbed to a little over 2,000 feet, and flew toward the location of the property. As the aircraft neared the subject area, he discovered that the property was covered by dense low-level fog. They therefore headed back to the airport. During the last part of the descending approach, the pilot advanced the power lever, but there was no response from the engine. The pilot attempted to stretch the glide to the end of the runway, but he was unable to do so, and he ultimately ended up ditching in a long narrow pond that was closely aligned with his approach heading. During the investigation it was determined that the selected fuel tank had about one gallon of fuel in it when the aircraft was recovered. It was also determined that the aircraft was operating in icing conditions severe enough that carburetor icing could be expected at cruise power and below. At the termination of the investigation, it could not be positively determined if the aircraft's engine was starved of fuel due to the low quantity in the selected left tank, or whether the pilot had forgotten to apply full carburetor heat resulting in a loss of power due to an accumulation of ice in the carburetor.

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

The total loss of engine power, for undetermined reasons, while the aircraft was on a VFR final approach. No suitable terrain for landing and water were factors.

Full narrative available

Index for Dec2002 | Index of months