NTSB Identification: CEN12FA520
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 04, 2012 in Fate, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/16/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N2552C
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 reported that he had been flying for about 30 minutes near a fresh water lake when he turned west toward the airport to practice takeoffs and landings. About 10 miles east of the airport at 2,300 feet mean sea level, the engine “stuttered,” and the rpm dropped from 2,450 to 2,300 rpm. The pilot unsuccessfully tried to restore engine power. About 2 miles from the airport, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot conducted a forced landing to a field, and the airplane nosed over during the landing roll. The examination of airplane’s systems did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The engine was test run on the airframe, and it ran normally with no anomalies noted. The pilot reported that 12 gallons of fuel were in the left tank and that 10 gallons of fuel were in the right tank at takeoff. The atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to the accumulation of carburetor ice while operating at a sustained idle engine power setting. However, the engine power setting used during cruise flight would have been significantly higher than an idle engine setting; therefore, it is unlikely that carburetor ice accumulated during the accident.

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 because postaccident examinations did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Full narrative available

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