On August 5, 1998, at 1750 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-22, N1266C, ditched in five feet of water, according to the pilot, following a complete loss of engine power near New Bern, North Carolina. The personal flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. According to the pilot, visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot also reported that the airframe sustained substantial structural damage. The pilot said that he was not injured. The local flight departed New Bern, North Carolina, at 1700.

According to the pilot, less than one hour into the flight, the engine developed a rough condition, and he decided to apply carburetor heat. When he pulled the carburetor heat lever to apply heat, the inner cable pulled completely out, and he could not apply carburetor heat. Since the engine power condition continued to deteriorate, the pilot elected to return home. Unable to maintain altitude, and still less than a mile from the shore, the pilot was forced to ditch the airplane about 1500 feet from the shoreline.

Examination of the carburetor heat cable assembly disclosed that the inner movable cable was worn to a point. The failure was about eighteen inches from the attach point on the carburetor. The pilot reported that the failed section of the worn inner cable was positioned at a bend in the cable assembly. The carburetor heat cable assembly had been installed on the airplane for 800 hours.

A review of weather data from the nearest reporting facility revealed that conditions were favorable for the formation of carburetor ice.

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