On December 18, 2004, at 1233 mountain standard time, an Arctic Aircraft Company, Inc .,S-1B2, N78AT, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when it impacted a fence and nosed over during a forced landing, south of Steamboat Springs Airport/Bob Adams Field (SBS), Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported no injuries. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the accident report submitted by the pilot, he was departing from runway 32 and was approximately 500 feet agl, when the engine lost power. The pilot attempted a forced landing in a snow covered meadow. Subsequently, the airplane hit a fence, that was buried in the snow, and nosed over. The forward wing spar on the left wing was cracked and the firewall was damaged at several truss mount locations.

In a telephone interview with the pilot, he stated that during his engine run up, prior to departure, he conducted a carburetor heat check and noted no power changes indicating carburetor icing. He also stated that upon losing power, he immediately applied carburetor heat but it was ineffective. The power loss was stated to be sudden.

According to an Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic in Steamboat Springs, a postaccident examination of the engine revealed a small amount of water in the carburetor. Further examination revealed that the seal around the accelerator pump shaft was cracked. No other anomalies with the carburetor, engine or remaining airplane systems were noted.

The routine weather report from Haden, Colorado, 16 nautical miles west of SBS, recorded the temperature as 27 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and the dew point as 16 degrees F. According to the carburetor icing chart, conditions were conducive for icing at glide and cruise power.

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