NTSB Identification: ERA12FA513
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 18, 2012 in Columbus, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: MCLEOD ALAN FW-190 1/2 SCALE, registration: N149AM
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 performing pattern work at the airport. After conducting a touch-and-go landing on runway 24, with more than 1,638 feet of runway ahead, the pilot turned the airplane right and advised the controller that he had a partial loss of engine power and intended to land on runway 13. Near the approach end of runway 13, the pilot banked left, stalled, pitched nose down, and impacted the ground within 157 feet of the runway threshold. A witness reported that the engine was running rough but not sputtering. Another witness stated that the engine was not developing full power, and an airframe and powerplant mechanic reported that the engine sounded as if it were operating between 1,200 and 1,300 rpm.

Examination of the flight controls revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Examination of the engine revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction of the power train, air induction, or fuel metering systems; however, postaccident testing of the spark plugs revealed that five exhibited weak spark, which would have been detected during an engine run-up before takeoff.

About the time of the accident, the temperature and dew point were favorable for serious icing at glide power. The engine sounds described by the witnesses are consistent with carburetor icing, as is the pilot’s report of a partial loss of power after operating at a reduced power setting in the traffic pattern and then advancing the power after the touch-and-go landing. It could not be determined why the pilot did not elect to land the airplane on the remaining runway ahead.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering following a partial loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision not to land on the remaining runway ahead, and the partial loss of engine power due to carburetor ice.

Full narrative available

Index for Aug2012 | Index of months