NTSB Identification: SEA04LA071.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 17, 2004 in Gibbonsville, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Keller Prospector FK1, registration: N5XK
Injuries: 2 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.
In a written statement the pilot reported that approximately 10 miles south of Lost Trail Pass he decided to turn back due to deteriorating weather ahead. The pilot stated that during the turn he lost track of the two other aircraft that made up the flight of three. The pilot stated he was "trying to locate [the] other two A/C [aircraft] to the exclusion of the engine instruments". The pilot stated that as the airplane reached the summit he added power "as I was too low." Concurrent with the increase in power, the engine quit. The pilot maneuvered the airplane in an effort to avoid rising terrain, however, during the maneuver the airplane collided with multiple trees eventually impacting terrain in an inverted position. The pilot rated passenger reported the weather conditions along the route of flight began to deteriorate, and the pilot-in-command of the accident airplane elected to return to Stevensville. The passenger reported that shortly after making the decision to return, the airplane's engine began to lose power. After losing power, the airplane stalled and collided with terrain. The pilot and pilot rated passenger both indicated the loss of power was the result of carburetor ice. The pilot was operating the airplane in moderate snow showers. The pilot's written report indicated the outside air temperature was approximately 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to apply carburetor heat in icing conditions which resulted in a loss of engine power while in cruise flight. Factors contributing to the accident are unsuitable terrain for an emergency landing , trees and mountainous terrain. Full narrative available
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