LAX99LA076
LAX99LA076

On January 17, 1999, at 1245 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 140, N89513, collided with the ground during takeoff from a dirt field, near Burson, California. Visual meteorological conditions existed and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The private pilot was not injured. The aircraft was owned and operated by the pilot under 14 CFR Part 91.

In his written statement to the Safety Board, the pilot reported that he was at slow flight with 1500 rpm's and the carburetor heat on at 1,500 feet above ground level (agl). He stated that he experienced "carb ice, engine died." The pilot reported that he shut the engine down and picked a field for a forced landing. After landing in the field he restarted the engine, checked it's operating perimeters with no mechanical malfunctions noted. The pilot reported that he then took off from the field and approximately 50 feet agl he saw power lines, made a steep left turn to avoid them, and stalled the aircraft.

In the pilot's initial statement to the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department he reported that he had been circling a friend's house when the engine quit. He stated that he thought he had run out of fuel in one tank and didn't have time to switch tanks, so he landed in the field. After landing and examining the aircraft, he restarted the engine and took off. The pilot reported that after takeoff, at 50 feet agl, he saw power lines. The pilot stated that he banked to the left, at which point the aircraft "fell out of the air to the ground."

On January 27, 1999, the pilot filed an amended statement to the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department. In his amended statement, the pilot said that he "had carburetor ice." The pilot reported that he attempted an unsuccessful restart of the engine and made a forced landing in the dirt field. The balance of the statement remained unchanged from the initial statement.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that he had experienced an in-flight loss of engine power and he made a forced landing on the dirt field. Afterward, he restarted the engine by switching the fuel selector tank position, conducted an engine run-up with no abnormalities noted, and initiated the takeoff.

Aircraft recovery personnel were asked to document the fuel onboard the aircraft for quantity, grade, contamination, and system flow to the carburetor. The recovery personnel noted that there were approximately 6 1/2 gallons of fuel recovered, 4 gallons in the left tank and 2 1/2 gallons in the right tank. The fuel was blue in color and smelled like aviation fuel. No contamination of the fuel was noted. The recovery personnel further reported that there were no discrepancies noted with the fuel flow between the tanks and the carburetor.

Weather information was obtained from the Stockton, California, airport, approximately 32 nmi west of the accident site. The temperature reported at the time of the accident was 64 degrees Fahrenheit and the dew point was reported as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the icing probability chart (appended to file), the conditions were conducive to moderate icing during cruise.

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