NTSB Identification: CHI05CA052.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 12, 2005 in Cumberland, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-300, registration: N427KP
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing in a field. The private pilot reported that he had received a weather briefing at 0615. There was an AIRMET for icing and instrument meteorological conditions along the route of flight. The pilot reported, "It seemed that there were only a few reports of light icing and layers between the clouds with no moisture." Thirty minutes after departure, the pilot noticed light mixed icing on the wings. The intended cruising altitude was 11,000 feet, but the airplane's airspeed had dropped to 130 knots and it was unable to maintain the climb. The airspeed continued to drop to 120 knots, and the pilot requested to divert to a nearby airport with an instrument approach. The pilot executed the GPS Runway 27 approach to the airport. The pilot reported that he flew the approach at 3,000 feet at 120 knots until he reached the final approach fix. He then lowered the landing gear and selected 10 degrees of flaps. When the airplane was about 500 feet above ground level (agl) it began to buffet, and the pilot reported that he began to lose directional control. The pilot chose to land in a field that was about 100 yards to the south of runway 27, rather that trying to turn to the runway. The stall warning horn sounded just before ground impact. The landing gear was sheared off and the propeller struck the ground. Witnesses on the ground reported there was a build up of ice on the airplane. One witness reported, "I did observe on the aircraft itself large amounts of ice on the antennas, on the wings and other portions of the airplane." The airplane was equipped with a placard in full view of the pilot that stated, "THIS AIRCRAFT APPROVED FOR V.F.R., I.F.R., DAY AND NIGHT NON-ICING FLIGHT WHEN EQUIPPED IN ACCORDANCE WITH FAR 91 AND FAR 135."

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

The pilot could not maintain altitude or airspeed due to airframe icing as a result of the pilot flying into known adverse weather and failing to comply with the airplane's icing limitation . Factors included the icing conditions and the ice accumulation on the aircraft.

Full narrative available

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