NTSB Identification: ERA12LA474
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 23, 2012 in Westerly, RI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-25-235, registration: N7313Z
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

About 12 minutes into a local banner towing flight, while flying 650 feet above the ocean, the airplaneā€™s engine began running roughly. The pilot responded by increasing the throttle to full, richening the mixture, and applying carburetor heat, all to no avail. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost power completely, so the pilot performed a forced landing to the ocean and was later rescued by civilian boaters. The airplane was recovered from the ocean more than 1 week after the accident. The pilot/operator was able to perform a cursory inspection of the engine at the time, but no definitive cause for the loss of power was identified. Due to the salt water-damaged state of the engine, no further detailed examination could be completed. At the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated nearly 2,300 hours since its most recent overhaul and 150 hours since its most recent annual inspection. Weather conditions at an airport 6 miles from the accident location were conducive to the formation of serious carburetor ice at glide power settings.

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

A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined due to the postaccident salt water-damaged state of the engine.

Full narrative available

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