NTSB Identification: CEN12FA152
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 08, 2012 in Frankston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: VARGA AIRCRAFT CORP. 2150A, registration: N8293J
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 pilot was returning from a cross-country flight. The airplane was overdue, and a search was initiated. The airplane was located in a lake short of the pilot’s destination airport. There were no reported witnesses to the accident. The airplane’s canopy was found locked in the open position, the pilot’s seat belts were unlatched, the fuel shut-off valves and ignition switch were in the “OFF” position, and the battery and avionics switches were also in the off position. The throttle was found full open, the mixture control was full rich, and the carburetor heat was in the cold position. The airplane was recovered, and the engine was test run. The engine started and ran; no preimpact abnormalities with the airplane or engine were found. The medical examiner noted the pilot’s cause of death as "drowning, hypothermia, and minor blunt force injuries.” The weather in the area was clear with light wind; however, the temperature and dew point indicated that the airplane was operating in an area that was associated with a serious risk of carburetor ice accumulation at cruise power settings. Based on the location of the destination airport, weather, and the airplane’s condition and location, it is likely that the pilot had not applied carburetor heat, and the airplane experienced a loss of engine power due to carburetor ice. The pilot then had to ditch the airplane in the lake. The loss of engine power was likely due to carburetor ice.

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

The loss of engine power due to carburetor ice, which resulted in the pilot ditching the airplane into the lake. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision not to apply carburetor heat.

Full narrative available

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