NTSB Identification: ATL04LA183.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 12, 2004 in San Juan, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N5546Z
Injuries: 1 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.

The pilot completed banner tow operations and made a left climbing turn. During the climb the airplane lost engine power. The pilot was unsuccessful in restoring the engine power. The pilot maneuvered the airplane to the right towards the approach end of runway 27. The airplane, on a 120-degree magnetic heading, landed across the runway surface, rolled into the grass and collided with a fence. The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions with the airplane prior to the accident. Examination of the airplane revealed the wings detached, the main landing gear collapsed and damage to the engine and propeller. The examination further showed that the fuel tanks were breached but more than 12 gallons of fuel was recovered from the left tank. The examination of the engine failed to disclose anomalies. The pilot did not report using carburetor heat during the flight. The weather conditions at the time of the accident were wind 360-degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, temperature 31-degrees Celsius and dewpoint 26-degrees Celsius. The review of the icing probability curves disclose conditions favorable for the formation of carburetor ice.

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

The pilot's failure to apply carburetor heat which resulted in carburetor ice and the subsequent loss of engine power. A factor was weather conditions favorable for carburetor ice.

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