NTSB Identification: CHI03LA051.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 13, 2003 in Mansfield, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-38-112, registration: N2400K
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 airplane contacted a tree during an off airport forced landing. The pilot reported that she flew to 03B to practice a couple of takeoffs and landings. She stated she entered the traffic pattern and pulled the power back when she was 180 degrees from the end of the runway. When she made the base leg turn, she realized that the wind was pushing her away from the runway so she added power, but there was no response from the engine. The pilot stated she tried adding a little more power, but again there was no response. She stated she then pulled the throttle back and advanced it to the full power setting, but there was still no response from the engine. The pilot stated she chose a two-lane dirt lane on wooded farmland on which to land. The left wing contacted a tree during the landing roll and the airplane spun around 180 degrees before coming to rest. Following the accident, the engine was started and it operated normally. The temperature and dewpoint reported 41 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, were 1 degree Celsius and -1 degree Celsius, respectively. These conditions are conducive for serious icing at any power setting. The Lycoming O-235-C Series engine manual, page 3-7, states, "(3) Landing Approach - In making an approach for a landing, carburetor air heat should generally be in the "Full Cold" position. However, if icing conditions are suspected, the "Full Heat" should be applied. In the case that full power need be applied under these conditions, as for an aborted landing, the carburetor heat should be returned to "Full Cold" after power application. See aircraft flight manual for specific instructions." The PA-38-112, Pilot Operating Handbook, pages 4-21and 22, state, "Carburetor heat should not be applied unless there is an indication of carburetor icing, since the use of carburetor heat causes a reduction in power which may be critical in case of a go-around. Full throttle operation with carburetor heat on can cause detonation."

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

The pilot's failure to use carburetor heat, which resulted in the formation of carburetor ice and the loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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