NTSB Identification: DEN06LA024.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 21, 2005 in Peyton, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-235, registration: N9318W
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.

On the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the pilot leaned the mixture to 50 degrees rich of peak, positioned the propeller lever full forward, and set the throttle to 1,200 RPM on the engine tachometer. After turning base, the pilot reduced the throttle in preparation of extending the flaps. The pilot then increased the throttle to maintain altitude; however, the engine power did not increase as the throttle was applied. The pilot rechecked the fuel pump, which was on, and applied carburetor heat, "which produced a constant and noticable further loss of power." The pilot checked the cockpit gauges and noticed all were in the green and verified the propeller was in the full forward position. The manifold pressure was approximately 12 inches and the engine tachometer was indicating 2,000 RPM. The pilot then immediately turned the airplane toward the runway; however, he could not make it to the runway. Subsequently, the pilot attempted a forced landing onto a nearby road. During the forced landing, the airplane landed in a ditch approximately 20 feet from the road. The airplane's right wing struck a fence post, and the airplane came to rest upright. At a salvage facility, the engine was examined and test run. The engine was test run twice at various power settings. No anomalies were noted during the examination and test runs. A review of a carburetor icing probability chart placed the reported temperature and dew point in the "icing at glide and cruise power" area of the chart.

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

the pilot's delay in applying carburetor heat that resulted in the partial loss of engine power due to carburetor ice. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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