On March 20, 1999, at 2328 eastern standard time, a Cessna 152, N46542, collided with trees while performing a forced landing near Bunn Level, North Carolina. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the pleasure flight. The private pilot and passenger received minor injuries and the aircraft sustained substantial damage. The airplane departed Florence Regional Airport in Florence, South Carolina, at 2215, destined for Dillon County Airport, in Dillon, South Carolina.

According to the pilot, before departing, the airplane's battery was discharged and required an external power source for the engine start. The pilot stated that after startup, the instrument lights did not work, so he used his flashlight to illuminate the instrument panel. During the preflight engine run-up, no abnormalities were noted by the pilot. Approximately one hour into the flight, the pilot's flashlight failed followed by loss of vacuum pressure and a subsequent loss of the vacuum-driven instruments. Moments later, while at 3,500 feet mean sea level, the pilot stated that all electrical power was lost followed by a total loss of engine power. The pilot attempted to restart the engine, but stated that the engine "failed to turn over." The pilot made a forced landing in a wooded area and collided with several trees.

During the subsequent examination of the engine, the alternator, vacuum pump, carburetor, and magnetos that were on the airplane at the time of the accident were tested. The engine assembly was found to function normally through all ranges of power settings (see attached report of engine examination). No obvious source for the loss of electrical power was determined during the wreckage examination.

A review of current weather data disclosed that conditions were favorable for the formation of carburetor ice.

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