NTSB Identification: ERA10LA203
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 02, 2010 in Middletown, DE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2011
Aircraft: LOPEZ PHILLIP JABIRU J250, registration: N464PP
Injuries: 1 Fatal,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.

According to the pilot, during cruise flight the engine reportedly lost power, and his attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. The pilot conducted a forced landing, and the airplane collided with trees and power lines before the fuselage came to rest inverted in the wires. A postaccident examination of the airplane’s fuel system did not reveal a reason for the loss of power. The engine was test run after the accident and no evidence of preexisting malfunctions or anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation. A review of the Federal Aviation Administration carburetor icing probability chart revealed temperature and dew point conditions at the time of the accident were favorable for serious carburetor icing at cruise power settings; however, according to the surviving passenger, the pilot did not discuss the possibility of carburetor ice during the event. A low level of diphenhydramine, an impairing antihistamine, was detected in the pilot’s blood on toxicological evaluation. It is possible that the pilot was somewhat impaired from recent use of the medication, but the role of such potential impairment in his failure to recognize evidence of carburetor icing could not be conclusively determined.

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

The pilot's failure to apply carburetor heat, which resulted in the formation of carburetor icing and a total loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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