On July 16, 2009, about 1315 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 120, N7227E, registered to a private individual, nosed over during a forced landing on a golf course near Moore-Murrell Airport (MOR), Morristown, Tennessee. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight from New Tazewell Municipal Airport (3A2), Tazewell, Tennessee. The airplane was substantially damaged and the certified flight instructor (CFI) sustained minor injuries, while the certificated airline transport pilot (ATP) was not injured. The flight originated from 3A2 about 1150. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The ATP/airplane owner stated that the purpose of the flight was for him to get a flight review because his last one was greater than 2 years ago. A total of 8 gallons of 100 low lead fuel were added equally, divided between the two fuel tanks before departure, bringing the total fuel load to 12.5 gallons. No discrepancies were noted during the preflight inspection or engine run-up. The flight departed with the fuel selector positioned to the left tank and the owner performed airwork, then proceeded to MOR, where the CFI asked him to perform a low pass over the runway. At the completion of the low pass, he applied power to climb, but the engine "popped" and experienced a loss of power. The owner told the CFI to take the controls because the CFI was more familiar with the area. The CFI reported that he took the controls and maneuvered the airplane to a golf course and landed on a fairway. During the landing roll, the airplane rolled onto an area of vegetation and nosed over, coming to rest inverted.
Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, before recovery, revealed evidence of fuel leakage from the right wing. During recovery, fuel leakage was noted from the left wing. The airplane was recovered for further examination.
Only a cursory external visual inspection of the engine was performed by an FAA. The examination revealed all engine controls remained attached at their respective attach point. Impact damage to the engine precluded an engine run due to impact damage to the carburetor.
The pilot provided a copy of FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE-09-35, dated June 30, 2009. The subject of the bulletin pertains to carburetor ice prevention. Page 2 of the SAIB contains a chart indicating the temperature and dew point range where carburetor ice can exist. Based on the pilot reported temperature and dew point at the time of the accident (75 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit respectively), the conditions were favorable for serious carburetor icing at glide power.