On June 3, 1993, at about 1920 eastern daylight time, a Piper J3C-65, N87811, collided with a tree following a reported engine power loss near Greensboro, North Carolina. The private pilot was not injured in the accident. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was operated under 14 CFR Part 91 by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight to a private airstrip in Caswell County, North Carolina. The flight originated at the Southeast Greensboro Airport at about 1900.

The pilot reported the following. After departing from the Southeast Greensboro Airport, he climbed to 2,000 feet mean sea level (MSL). After established in cruise flight, the engine began to gradually lose power. He initiated a turn back to the airport. He was unable to maintain level flight, and was unable to glide to the airport. During the forced landing, the airplane collided with the top of a tall tree. The aircraft remained lodged in the top of the tree, and the pilot exited the airplane.

The pilot later reported that the engine lost power due to carburetor ice. He applied carburetor heat after the loss of power, and the engine responded, however he was unable to avoid the collision with the tree.

The temperature and dew point at the time of the accident were in a regime which would be conducive to carburetor icing conditions, according to carburetor icing charts. The visibility at the time of the accident was 5 miles, with haze.

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