NTSB Identification: LAX05LA163.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 08, 2005 in New Cuyama, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 140, registration: N89671
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 engine lost power while the airplane was in cruise flight and the airplane collided with obstacles and rough terrain during a forced landing. During cruise flight at 5,500 feet, the pilot felt a vibration in the engine. The vibration seemed to go through the entire airframe. The pilot applied carburetor heat for approximately 20 seconds. He removed the carburetor heat because it did not seem to help the situation and the engine began sputtering. He pulled the power back and began descending, attempting to troubleshoot the problem. The condition worsened and the pilot attempted to climb the airplane but there was not enough power available. All of the engine gauges appeared "in the green" and the pilot could not recall the rpm reading. The pilot and passenger began searching for a place to land and crash-landed into a tree in a crevice in the mountain. The temperature/dew point spread at 4,000 and 5,000 feet mean sea level indicated that moderate carburetor icing conditions existed at cruise power, when compared to a carburetor icing chart. According to the pilot operating handbook for the Cessna 140, "The correct way to use carburetor heat is to first use full heat to remove any ice that is forming." Post accident examination of the engine and airframe did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions that would have resulted in a loss of power.

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

the pilot's failure to properly use carburetor heat during conditions conducive to carburetor icing, which resulted in the loss of engine power. A factor in the accident was the unsuitable landing terrain.

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