On January 30, 1998, at 1328 mountain standard time, a Cessna 182E, N2804Y, owned and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during a forced landing near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The private pilot, the only occupant aboard, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Steamboat Springs approximately 1325.

According to the pilot's accident report, she took off on runway 32 at the Steamboat Springs/Bob Adams STOLport and proceeded northbound. During the climb at an altitude between 500 and 700 feet, the engine lost power. The pilot reversed course and applied carburetor heat. With little altitude remaining and failing to restore engine power, the pilot made a forced landing in a snow field, going uphill. The airplane nosed over after touching down, sustaining wing spar, keel, and nose damage. The pilot noted that during her preflight inspection, she found no water or contaminants in the fuel sumps. No irregularities were noted during the pretakeoff engine run. Full power was attained during the takeoff roll, and performance was typical for the conditions. She told an FAA inspector that she thought ice had formed in the carburetor.

At the time of the accident, the temperature at Hayden, Colorado, located 18 miles west of the accident site, was 25 degrees F., and the dew point 12 degrees F. According to the Icing Probability Chart, these conditions are not conducive to carburetor icing.

The engine was test run at the facilities of Beegles Aircraft Service, Greeley, Colorado, on February 4, 1998. The temperature at the airport was 24 degrees F., and the dew point was 20 degrees F. The engine operated satisfactorily. After the engine was shut down, thick frost was noted on the carburetor housing. According to the Icing Probability Chart, these conditions are conducive to carburetor icing at cruise power and during a glide.

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