NTSB Identification: CHI07LA126
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 01, 2007 in Fruitport, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2008
Aircraft: Luscombe 8A, registration: N1120B
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.
During the climb out the engine lost power. The CFI lowered the nose to establish a glide speed of about 65-70 mph and executed a
forced landing to a field. He applied carburetor heat, switched magnetos, and pumped the throttle but with no effect. The CFI saw power
line wires and tried to avoid them by going under the wires, but the airplane's right wing hit a power line pole. The airplane rotated
to the right and landed in the ditch next to a road. The engine was put on an engine test stand and the engine run revealed that it met
operational specifications. The temperature was 16 degrees Celsius and the dew point was 12 degrees Celsius. The mechanic who conducted the airplane's annual inspection five months earlier and who received dual instruction in the airplane before the accident flight stated that he encountered carburetor icing while taxiing and while in cruise flight. A review of two Luscombe owners' handbooks from the late 1940s and early 1950s found guidance recommending full carburetor heat for takeoffs and landings. A placard located next to the carburetor heat lever on the instrument panel stated the following: "Full Carburetor Air Heat Required for Takeoff and Landing." Although originally intended to correct fuel flow problems in early model 8As (during takeoffs with high pitch attitudes), the placard comports with Luscombe 8A owners and pilot operating manual guidance on carburetor icing avoidance. The certificated flight instructor reported that he had not applied carburetor heat until the engine lost power after takeoff.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The flight instructor failed to use carburetor heat during takeoff in icing conditions. A factor was the power line pole. Full narrative available
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