NTSB Identification: IAD03LA031.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 06, 2003 in Russellville, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2004
Aircraft: Robinson R-44, registration: N7184M
Injuries: 3 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.

As the pilot initiated a hover, he applied full carburetor heat, and as he raised the collective for takeoff, the carburetor heat automatically dropped. He then lowered the collective, but "failed to get the carb heat needed to maintain power." The engine began to sputter, then lost power completely. The pilot then performed a full autorotation into the lake. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no pre-impact mechanical malfunction. Additionally, the position of the carburetor heat control knob in the cockpit was extended approximately 2 inches. Temperature reported at 1655, at an airfield 25 miles to the southeast, was 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dew point was 32 degrees Fahrenheit, with light snow and mist. Review of an FAA carburetor icing probability chart placed the reported temperature and dew point in the "serious icing at cruise power" area of the chart.

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

The total loss of engine power due to carburetor ice.

Full narrative available

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