NTSB Identification: IAD04LA007.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 10, 2004 in Baltimore, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-180, registration: N242JG
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's hangar was not heated, and the temperature had dropped to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit the previous evening. The pilot pre-heated the engine for about 45 minutes before starting the engine. He taxied the airplane and performed an engine run-up for a total of about 20 minutes, then flew for about 5 minutes to another airport for a banner pickup. In the traffic pattern, the pilot applied carburetor heat, then turned it off shortly before banner pickup in anticipation of the climb. The pilot hooked the banner, then proceeded to climb the airplane while increasing engine power to 2,500 rpm. The engine then "gave one spat," but "climbed strong" until about 200 feet above the runway, when the engine rpm suddenly dropped, and the engine sputtered to a stop. The pilot instantly released the banner, then tried to revive the engine by applying carburetor heat and pumping the throttle. The pilot determined that because of the low altitude, he could not complete a turn back to the runway, so he landed straight ahead into trees. Post-accident inspection of the engine and fuel system revealed no mechanical anomalies. The temperature and dewpoint at the time of the accident were 16 and -2 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in no probability of carburetor icing.

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

A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. Factors included a low ambient temperature and a lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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