NTSB Identification: DEN05LA058.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 16, 2005 in Montrose, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N3985F
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.

While descending near a mountain canyon area, the engine lost partial power and the pilot initiated an emergency landing into an area of trees. The pilot stated that the engine had lost approximately seventy-five percent of its power and that he was too far into a canyon to reverse course. He then attempted an emergency landing into an area of trees, and subsequently, the airplane stalled and impacted the snow covered terrain. In addition, the pilot stated that "the aircraft did not have a lot of power to begin with and he has had icing problems in the past...he [believed] that icing is what caused his loss of power." According to the "Carburetor Icing Probability Chart," the atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to "Serious Icing at Cruise Power." A review of the wreckage revealed the carburetor heat was found in the OFF position.

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

the pilot's improper in-flight planning during the descent which resulted in partial loss of engine power due to carburetor ice. Contributing factors were the pilot's failure to select carburetor heat during the descent and unsuitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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