IAD98LA079
IAD98LA079

On July 15, 1998, about 1831 eastern daylight time, a Boeing A75N1 (PT-17), N60019, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees during a forcing landing after a touch, and go maneuver at the Greenwood Lake Airport, West Milford, New Jersey. The certificated commercial pilot, and pilot rated passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91, which originated from Lincoln Park Airport, Lincoln Park, New Jersey, at 1820.

The pilot reported that he completed a preflight check, and added 20 gallons of fuel, which brought the total fuel onboard to about 35 gallons. He stated that his engine check, takeoff, climb, and en route flight were normal, and he entered a downwind for a touch and go landing at Greenwood Lake. The pilot indicated that he placed the carburetor heat-on, the propeller to-full rpm, and executed "a smooth main wheel landing." He added full power, and selected carburetor heat-off for takeoff. About 50 feet agl and past mid field, the pilot realized the engine was not producing full power. He did not notice any backfiring, smoke, or unusual vibration from the engine, just a lack of power.

The pilot further stated that "...I could not land the airplane on the remaining runway without going down the steep drop-off/cliff at the end...I turned west and with insufficient power to maintain flight, the airplane settled into the trees."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector examined the wreckage. The Inspector stated that the left wing spars were broken, and the fuselage sustained minimal damage. His examination of the cockpit revealed that the primer was unlocked, and extended approximately 1/4 of an inch. Impact damage to the radial engine was minimal, and there were no external signs of pre impact failure detected.

Under the supervision of the FAA Inspector, the wreckage was transported to the airport for further examination. A fuel sample was taken from both the airplane, and the fuel truck. No contamination was detected. While still attached to the airframe, the engine was run through its full operating range. Carburetor heat was applied at various power settings, and the engine continued to run with the "expected" drop in engine rpm. Examination of the engine failed to identify any pre impact failures that would have resulted in a loss of power.

According to the Icing Probability Chart in the FAA publication, "Tips On Winter Flying," the accident weather conditions were conducive for serious carburetor icing with glide power. In addition, the publication stated that, "It is recommended that carburetor heat be applied before reducing power and that partial power be used during letdown to prevent icing, and overcooling the engine."

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