ATL07LA106
ATL07LA106

On July 22, 2007, at 0915 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N63483, was substantially damaged when it collided with a tree during an emergency landing near the city of Sussex, New Jersey. The private pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Blairstown Airport, Blairstown, New Jersey. The airplane was registered to GPA Aviation Club Incorporated, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

The pilot stated that he made a few stops at other airports earlier that morning. He said that after conducting a preflight inspection, he departed for the Sussex Airport, Sussex, New Jersey. During cruise flight, at 4,000 feet, the engine sputtered and power decreased to 500 rpm. The pilot tried, unsuccessfully, to regain full power of the engine, attempted an emergency landing in an open field, but the airplane collided with trees.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the fuselage, vertical stabilizer, rudder, right and left wings were buckled, and both main fuel tanks had approximately 18 gallons of fuel. An examination of the engine revealed that there was no damage to the engine accessories, and valve train continuity was established.

A review of the logbooks revealed that on May 24, 2007, Paragon Aircraft Service installed an overhauled carburetor. On June 12, 2007, the carburetor was removed due to an over-lean idle condition. Subsequently, another carburetor was installed, checked for leaks, and the idle speed and mixture settings were set.

During inspection of the carburetor it was observed that the float was stuck in the down position, and the needle valve was in the full open position. Further examination revealed that there was no debris in the float assembly, which was then disassembled in order to free the needle valve. The carburetor was then reassembled. A test run was subsequently made on the engine and no anomalies were noted.

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