NTSB Identification: IAD05LA013.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 21, 2004 in Rupert, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 172E, registration: N3750S
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.

While in cruise flight, the air temperature was 35 degrees at 4,500 feet, and the cabin heat was turned on. About 10 to 20 minutes later, the airplane encountered light mist, and approximately 40-50 nautical miles later, with deteriorating weather, the pilot decided to turn around. Shortly thereafter, "the engine was not making full power and was missing. Carburetor ice was suspected with the high humidity and the low outside air temperature." The pilot applied carburetor heat for about 1 minute, but it had no effect. The engine continued to run roughly, and engine rpm decreased to approximately 2,000 to 2,100 rpm. The pilot reapplied carburetor heat, but there was no improvement in engine performance. The pilot felt that he could not safely transition higher terrain en route to his destination, so he decided to make a precautionary landing on a logging road. During the landing, the pilot noticed a bulldozer on the road. The pilot swerved the airplane off the road to avoid the bulldozer, and the left wing impacted a tree.

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

The pilot’s delayed application of carburetor heat, which resulted in a rough running engine. A factor was the bulldozer on the logging road where the pilot performed a precautionary landing.

Full narrative available

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