NTSB Identification: DEN06FA109.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 03, 2006 in Mosca, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-180, registration: N5416P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
A witness, located about two miles from the accident site, said he heard an approaching airplane. He said the engine was "sputtering, like it was missing." He did not see the airplane, but he did hear a loud "pop." He went to a clearing and saw a fire on the mountainside. He said the sky was overcast and the mountaintops were obscured. He estimated the point of impact to be 500 feet below the overcast. After the wreckage was recovered, the engine was disassembled and examined. No anomalies were noted. There was camshaft and crankshaft continuity, and all connecting rods were attached. The carburetor, which had separated from the engine, was examined. The bowl was empty, and the throttle valve was closed. Both the engine-driven and auxiliary fuel pumps were destroyed by fire. The Carburetor Icing Probability Chart was consulted. The temperature and dew point recorded at the nearest weather reporting station, 37 miles south of the accident site, were conducive to "serious icing at cruise power." The temperatures and dew points recorded at the point of departure and destination were conducive to "serious icing at glide power."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: a non-mechanical partial loss of engine power due to carburetor ice, and the pilot's failure to maintain clearance from terrain. Contributing factors in this accident were weather conditions conducive to carburetor icing and the pilot inadvertently flying into instrument meteorological conditions. Full narrative available
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