On March 30, 1997, about 0900 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-22-150, N3201Z, registered to a private owner, crashed during a forced landing near Cumming, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 local personal flight. The private-rated pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The fight had originated about 15 minutes before the accident.

The airplane was in cruise flight when the pilot noticed a "decrease in engine RPM's." The pilot switched fuel tanks and applied carburetor heat. He further stated that the only thing that helped was the "in and out motion on the throttle." The engine did not regain power so the pilot attempted a forced landing in a pasture, which resulted in impact with the ground.

The engine was removed from the airplane and examined at Lycoming Engine's facilities in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1997, under the supervision of the FAA. The engine was placed on a test stand and run with all the original parts that were on the engine at the time of the accident with the exception of the carburetor. The carburetor had impact damage and the throttle was separated from the body of the carburetor. The engine test run did not reveal any discrepancies.

The carburetor was shipped to the NTSB Southeast Regional office, Miami, Florida, were it was disassembled. The carburetor was received with all safety wires attached, and throttle valve which was laying separate from the body of the carburetor. The carburetor was disassembled and the gasket was found dry and in pieces. There was no fuel found in the bowl. The float retention valve pin was in place, and the needle valve operated.

The engine was released on July 11, 1997, and shipped from Lycoming's factory on the same day, under shipping order No. P597459. The carburetor was shipped on the same day from the NTSB Southeast Regional office, Miami, Florida.

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