DEN06LA007
DEN06LA007

On October 11, 2005, approximately 2015 central daylight time, N8875D, a Piper PA-22-150, piloted by a student pilot and under the supervision of a commercial certificated flight instructor, was substantially damaged when the landing gear collapsed during a forced landing following a power loss during takeoff at New Century Air Center (IXD), New Century, Kansas. The two pilots and a passenger were not injured. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The round-robin instructional flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. No flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at Lee's Summit (LXT), Missouri.

The following is based on the accident report submitted by the flight instructor and supporting documentation from the Federal Aviation Administration: At 2103, the pilot contacted the control tower and advised he was southwest of the airport and inbound for landing. He was told to enter a left downwind for runway 22. At 2110, the pilot reported he was on the left downwind leg for runway 22. He was cleared for a touch-and-go landing. After landing, the student added power and after climbing about 200 feet, the engine "sputtered and quit." The student relinquished control of the airplane to the instructor, who performed a forced landing. During the ground roll, the airplane's left main landing gear struck an unlit metal box, folding it up against the fuselage. The airplane spun around, twisting the nose gear, and came to rest just south of runway 22 and next to taxiway "A." Further examination revealed the left wing, left horizontal stabilizer, and engine firewall were buckled.

An FAA airworthiness inspector later examined the engine and performed perfunctory tests but "could not identify a cause" as to why the engine lost power. Subsequent questioning of the student revealed that when the airplane was on the downwind leg, he applied carburetor heat momentarily and noted a slight drop in rpm "to verify that it was working (as suggested by the CFI)," then closed it. The flight instructor said carburetor heat was closed on the base leg. At the time of the accident, the temperature was 14 degrees C. (57 degrees F.), and the dew point was 12 degrees C. (54 degrees F.), respectively. According to the Carburetor Icing Probability Chart, these conditions were conducive to serious carburetor icing conditions at cruise and glide power settings. According to the Piper Aircraft Corporation and Textron-Lycoming, since 1989 they have required the use of carburetor heat prior to the reduction of power and throughout the landing, or until the landing is assured.

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