NTSB Identification: WPR11CA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 04, 2010 in Pullman, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/12/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N4100Z
Injuries: 1 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 was maneuvering the airplane at a low altitude over open, snow-covered terrain, and noticed that the engine was beginning to lose power and running roughly. The airplane was starting to lose altitude and in response, he applied the carburetor heat and added full engine power. Just as the engine started to regain power, the main landing gear broke through the crusty top layer of the snow, slowing the airplane. The propeller contacted the snow and the pilot decreased the engine power and attempted to transition to a landing. The airplane nosed over inverted, resulting in substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and both left wing lift struts. According to the pilot, with the exception of the accumulation of carburetor ice, there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's delayed application of carburetor heat while maneuvering, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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