On November 25, 1995, at 1315 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 150E, N3000J, collided with a telephone pole near Sonora, California. The pilot was executing an emergency landing due to a loss of engine power while on a local visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight. The airplane, registered to and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The noncertificated pilot was not injured; his passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Columbia Airport, Columbia, California, at 1230 hours.

The pilot told investigating Tuoloumne County Sheriff's deputies that he departed Columbia Airport at 1230 hours for a local VFR flight. When descending from 5,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the engine sustained a total loss of power. He said that he applied carburetor heat before he began the descent. He attempted to restart the engine, but without success, and he attempted to execute a straight-in approach to Columbia Airport.

When it became evident that the airplane's altitude was insufficient to land at the airport, the pilot elected to land in an open field near a residence. The airplane struck a 40-foot-high pole during the approach to the open field.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations inspector from the Fresno, California, Flight Standards District Office, the pilot held a student pilot third-class medical certificate that was issued on June 9, 1989; the medical certificate contained a "must wear glasses for near and distant vision" limitation endorsement. According to current federal air regulations, a third-class medical certificate is valid for 24 calendar months. The student pilot certificate prohibits carrying passengers and requires a logbook certificate endorsement for solo flights.

Another FAA inspector said the pilot repeated the statement he made to the responding Sheriff's deputies.

On December 1, 1995, the aircraft retriever operated the engine in the presence of a FAA inspector. The engine operated normally, but the engine run was terminated due to an exterior oil leak. The retriever said the oil leaked resulted from impact damage around the nose case. He said there were no oil stains on the airplane.

Columbia Airport does not have an official weather observation facility. The weather data reflected on page 4 of this report was the Modesto Airport, Modesto, California, 1259 hours surface weather observation. The weather observation included a temperature of 74 degrees F, and a dew point temperature of 51 degrees F.

According to the FAA Icing Probability Chart, using the Modesto Airport's temperature and dew point, the airplane would have encountered serious carburetor icing in glide power conditions.

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