FTW01LA027
FTW01LA027

On November 25, 2000, at 1300 central standard time, a Luscombe 8A, single-engine airplane, N45537, struck trees following a loss of engine power during the takeoff/initial climb at Antlers, Oklahoma. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and his passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that the airplane was "easily started and taxied to runway 35 for takeoff. No unusual noises or taxiing characteristics were noted." The pilot applied full throttle and carburetor heat. The airplane developed full power during the takeoff roll; however, once the airplane was airborne, the engine was not developing full power. The pilot "turned off the carburetor heat." There "seemed to be a gradual reduction of power" regardless of carburetor heat position. The airplane struck trees beyond the departure end of the runway, nosed down toward the ground, and came to rest inverted. The pilot reported that since the airplane had been flying "well," he "suspected carburetor ice."

The pilot reported that the day of the accident was "probably the first time the airplane's aging carburetor heat mechanism had been put to the test with low temperature and narrow temperature-dew point spread in over a decade." The pilot reported a temperature and dew point of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 37 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.

The nearest weather reporting station (40 nautical miles northwest of the accident site) was McAlester, Oklahoma. At 1353, McAlester reported a temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and a dew point of 36 degrees Fahrenheit.

Both temperature and dew point reports were in the range of conditions conducive to serious carburetor icing at cruise or climb power.

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