NTSB Identification: CHI04LA202.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 30, 2004 in Rockville, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-24, registration: N5769P
Injuries: 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.

The airplane collided with trees during a forced landing while in the traffic pattern at a private airstrip. The pilot stated he departed the airstrip and attempted to contact approach control (21 statue miles away) to activate his instrument flight rules flight plan. He stated he was having radio problems in that he could hear approach control, but they were unable to hear him. The pilot reported he was in instrument meteorological conditions so he decided to return to the airstrip. The pilot stated he was in the traffic pattern to land when the engine lost power. He stated he thought he had picked up carburetor ice, so he applied carburetor heat, but was unable to regain any engine power. The airplane contacted trees and settled into a heavily wooded area near the airport. The pilot spent the night in the airplane and found his way out of the woods the following morning. The closest weather reporting station, located 21 miles from the accident site, reported the weather 7 mintes prior to the accident, as 1-1/4 mile visibility with light rain and mist, scattered clouds at 400 feet and a broken cloud ceiling at 700 feet. A post accident inspection of the airplane revealed that the venturi on the air inlet side of the carburetor was blocked by a 5-1/2 inch long piece of heat shield material. This material covered about 70 percent of the inlet area. The source of this material could not be determined as this material was not used anywhere on the airplane. The last annual inspection of the airframe and engine was performed approximately 60 flight hours prior to the accident.

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

The restriction of airflow in the carburetor due to a foreign substance blockage of the venturi. A contributing factor was the trees.

Full narrative available

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