NTSB Identification: CEN13CA005
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 05, 2012 in Colorado Springs, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N6661P
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

An air traffic controller provided the pilot with an altitude at which to cruise, but the airplane began accumulating structural icing. The pilot requested a lower altitude, but the altitude was still in clouds and the airplane continued to accumulate ice; the controller was unable to provide an even lower altitude to the pilot due to the minimum vectoring altitude. The pilot then visually acquired the airport, at which point the airplane had accumulated 1 1/2 to 2 inches of structural icing. The pilot kept the airplane's speed up during the pattern; however, on short final he reduced power and the airplane stalled about 105 mph. The airplane impacted terrain short of the runway and sustained substantial left and right wing damage. He reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane during the flight that would have precluded normal operations. The pilot indicated that he should have obtained the weather conditions at his destination in flight, because they had worsened, or he should have sought an ice-free solution, which may have been behind his flight path.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during the landing with known structural icing, which resulted in the airplane’s stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to divert to an area where conditions were not conducive to icing.

Full narrative available

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