NTSB Identification: NYC06LA193.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 04, 2006 in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-25, registration: N6471Z
Injuries: 1 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.

After performing a banner-towing flight, the pilot returned to a field to drop the banner. He reduced power as he initiated a descent to the field, and just prior to releasing the banner, the pilot increased the throttle to arrest the descent, and initiated a climb. As the pilot increased the throttle, he experienced "little or no positive reaction from the engine." He released the banner and the airplane continued to descend. The pilot prepared for a forced landing to the field, during which the airplane impacted a tree and caught fire. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical anomalies. Additionally, the carburetor heat was in the "off" position. The closest weather reporting station to the accident site, approximately 6 miles to the north, recorded the temperature and dew point as 34 degrees Celsius (C), and 22 degrees C, respectively. Interpolation of an FAA carburetor icing probability chart, revealed the conditions were conducive to carburetor ice at glide and cruise power settings. According to the FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, during closed-throttle operations, carburetor heat should be adjusted to the full ON position before closing the throttle and left on during the closed-throttle operation. The Handbook additionally states that after a power loss is noticed, immediate action should be taken to eliminate ice already formed in the carburetor, and to prevent further ice formation.

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

The pilot's failure to utilize carburetor heat during the descent, which resulted in the formation of carburetor ice and subsequent engine failure. A factor in the accident was the carburetor icing conditions.

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