FTW96LA026
FTW96LA026

On October 25, 1995, at 0915 mountain daylight time a Beech BE- 23, N5070T, made a forced landing in a field approximately four miles northwest of Strasburg, Colorado. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured and the aircraft sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for this Title 14 CFR Part 91 personnel cross country flight and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Parkland Airstrip, a private facility near Erie, Colorado, at 0845. The proposed destination was El Reno, Oklahoma.

According to the pilot, about 30 minutes into the flight while in cruise, the engine lost 25 to 35 rpm then began to run rough. The pilot said he checked the magnetos and they were normal so he applied carburetor heat. When the heat was applied, the pilot said the engine decelerated to idle and would not accelerate following removal of the heat.

According to Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), they received a distress call on 121.5 megahertz, identified the aircraft on radar, and attempted to direct the pilot towards a private strip which was the closest facility to his location. Due to terrain masking loss of signal, ARTCC lost radar and voice contact prior to the landing and alerted the FAA Northwest Operations Center and local authorities.

The pilot said he could not extend his glide to the private airport pointed out to him by ARTCC and he conducted an emergency landing in a field. During the landing in a farm field, which was soft and muddy, the aircraft struck a fence and the landing gear was sheared off after sinking into the soft terrain.

An examination of the aircraft and engine was conducted by this investigator accompanied by an FAA airworthiness inspector and a representative from the engine manufacturer. No evidence was found of an airframe or system failure or malfunction and no evidence was found to indicate the engine was not capable of producing power prior to the accident.

A review of the pilot's statement and weather information by the investigative team revealed that, although the temperature/dew point spread was 14 degrees Fahrenheit, the pilot's description of events were characteristic of an encounter with carburetor ice as described in the engine manufacturer's information publication.

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