NTSB Identification: CHI05CA193.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 19, 2005 in Plainwell, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-22, registration: N2654A
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 damage when it nosed over during a forced landing following a loss of engine power on a downwind approach. The pilot stated, "[The passenger] and I had installed the overhauled carburetor ... and ran up the engine to verify proper working condition. ... [The next day] we ran it up twice to double check - everything was operating properly. The 11:25 am take-off was smooth and the climb out was strong. We turned crosswind, then downwind [1,000 feet above ground level]. On the tailend of the downwind, I pulled the carburetor heat, then pulled more power back. Five seconds later, I went to put more power in but the engine was dead. ... Our descent rate exceeded our distance to the airport, so we headed for the closest field. It appeared to be a bean field, which would have been hard packed and flat. However, it was a potato field, which was soft, soaked from recent rain, and uniform with 1 1/2 to 2 foot deep ruts. The landing was fine until the nose gear hit and dug in. The plane flipped over onto its top and slid to a stop." An examination of wreckage revealed no pre-impact anomalies with the airframe, engine, or carburetor. The recorded local temperature was 28 degrees C and the dew point was 16 degrees C. The temperature and dew point were plotted on a Transport Canada Carburetor Icing chart and their intersection falls in the serious icing - descent power area of the chart.

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

The loss of engine power on downwind due to carburetor icing, and the unsuitable terrain the pilot encountered during the forced landing. A factor was the soft terrain.

Full narrative available

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