NTSB Identification: ERA12LA575
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 22, 2012 in Fort Thomas, KY
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q, registration: N735FJ
Injuries: 2 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 22, 2012, about 2150 central daylight time, a Cessna 182Q, N735FJ, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. The private pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a no flight plan had been filed for the local flight that originated at Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field (LUK), Cincinnati, Ohio. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, the flight had been flown at 3,000 feet, and he had descended the airplane to 2,500 feet on an extended downwind traffic pattern leg to LUK runway 3R (field elevation was 483 feet), when the engine began to lose power. The pilot confirmed the positions of the engine throttle and the fuel selector, but the engine continued to lose power, and the airplane descended into the trees.

During a postflight interview, the pilot noted that the carburetor temperature gauge had been to the far left since the beginning of the flight, indicating severe carburetor icing, but that he thought there was a problem with the gauge and made a mental note to have his mechanic check it. He also noted that he had utilized carburetor heat several times during the flight.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector did not note any preexisting mechanical anomalies with the airplane. Photographs he provided included the propeller, with no noticeable chordwise scratching, and one of the two blades bent aft.
Another photograph showed the carburetor heat control partially pulled out; however, its position in flight, before the crash sequence, could not be confirmed.

Weather, recorded at LUK at 2153, included calm winds, a temperature of 9 degrees C, and a dew point of 2 degrees C. Utilizing those ambient temperature/dew point conditions, the FAA chart titled "Conditions Favoring Carb Ice Formation" indicated the probability of serious carburetor icing at cruise power.

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