NTSB Identification: WPR11FA120
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 03, 2011 in San Luis Obispo, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/2012
Aircraft: AERONCA O-58C, registration: N47503
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was in cruise flight at 3,500 feet mean sea level when the engine lost power. The pilot restarted the engine, and it ran for about 20 seconds before again losing power. He applied carburetor heat, but the cycle of losing power and restarting for a few seconds occurred several times. The pilot attempted to land in a field, but collided with trees at the edge of the field. There was no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction found during a postaccident examination of the airframe and engine. The meteorological conditions at the time of the accident were conductive to serious carburetor icing at cruise power. Although the pilot applied carburetor heat after the initial power loss, the engine likely did not run long enough to melt the ice and restore power.

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

The pilot’s delay in using carburetor heat, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to an encounter with carburetor icing conditions.

Full narrative available

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