NTSB Identification: ERA13CA010
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 06, 2012 in Lyman, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2013
Aircraft: MOULTON HOWARD WELLS ULTRA-PUP, registration: N3073X
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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.

About 20 minutes into the cross-country flight, the pilot of the experimental amateur-built airplane detected a vibration of the airplane’s engine that “didn’t sound good,” and noticed a drop in the rpm of the automotive-conversion engine. He immediately applied carburetor heat, but the engine continued to lose power until the airplane could no longer maintain altitude and began to descend from its cruise altitude of 1,500 feet above ground level. The pilot performed a forced landing into the trees below, substantially damaging the airplane’s fuselage, wings, and empennage. Postaccident examination of the airplane, its engine, and its fuel system revealed no evidence of preimpact malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Although the fuel system was compromised by impact damage, the fuel that remained in the system was absent of contamination. According to a carburetor icing probability chart published by the Federal Aviation Administration, the temperature and dew point reported at an airport located about 6 nautical miles from the accident site were conducive to “serious icing at cruise power.”

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

The accumulation of ice in the automotive engine’s carburetor, which resulted in a loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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