NTSB Identification: CEN09CA378
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 20, 2009 in Urbana, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24, registration: N7660P
Injuries: 4 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 pilot reported that during the engine run-up prior to the first flight of the day, he noted that there was no resistance on the control knob when he checked the operation of the carburetor heat and that there was a slightly “sluggish” return in the engine rpms as it returned to normal. The engine operated normally during this flight. When he applied carburetor heat during the engine run-up for the second flight of the day, he noticed that the rpm needle "wiggled down 50" then returned to the set rpm. Everything appeared normal during the takeoff until the airplane reached about 200 feet above the runway, when it felt a little “soggy.” The pilot stated that he raised the landing gear to reduce drag, but it did not seem like the engine was producing power. The pilot then extended the landing gear and decided to land the airplane in a field off the end of the runway. The landing gear, which was not locked down, collapsed during the landing and the left wing was substantially damaged when it contacted a runway end identifier light. Postaccident inspection of the airplane and engine revealed that the carburetor heat bracket between the valve shaft and the cable was fractured and missing. The carburetor heat valve was in the open position.

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

A failure of the carburetor heat cable attach bracket which resulted in the inadvertent activation of carburetor heat and the subsequent loss of engine power during takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's operation of the aircraft with a known deficiency.

Full narrative available

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