ERA09LA433
ERA09LA433

On August 1, 2009, about 0845 eastern daylight time, a Boeing A75N1, N49778, was substantially damaged following a loss of engine power and forced landing at Bowman Field Airport, Livermore Falls, Maine. The airplane was operated by a private individual. The certificated private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that he took off in the airplane after replacing the fuel filter, which was brand new. It was very warm and humid at the time, and you could see a fog layer about 4 feet off the ground. The grass runway was wet, and there was standing water in the run-up area. He stated that the conditions at the time were “ideal for the formation of carburetor ice.” The engine began to lose power late in the takeoff roll, but there was insufficient room to stop. He took off, the engine continued to lose power, and the airplane settled into the trees. Three of the four wings sustained substantial damage.

Following the accident, two inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) visited the accident site and inspected the wreckage. They reported that a physical examination of the airplane and fuel system revealed no anomalies. The fuel strainer bowl was clean and there was no evidence of fuel contamination found. They reported that a complete fuel system cleaning occurred approximately 1.5 hours prior to the accident.

After the wreckage was recovered to the pilot’s storage facility, a test run of the engine was attempted by the pilot. He reported that the engine started on the first attempt and ran without hesitation or loss of power. The pilot did not attempt a full-power run due to the impact damage to the propeller.

According to FAA records, the pilot’s latest third class medical certificate was dated October 19, 2005. The pilot reported that he had accomplished a biennial flight review (BFR) about one year prior to the accident. He also reported that the airplane received an annual inspection in August, 2008. He was unable to provide documentation of a current BFR or annual aircraft inspection to the FAA inspectors.

The 0853 weather observation for Augusta, Maine (AUG), located about 16 miles east of the accident site, included the following: sky clear, winds calm, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 21 degrees Celsius, dew point 17 degrees Celsius, and altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury. The Federal Aviation Administration Special Airworthiness Bulletin number CE-09-35, titled “Carburetor Icing Prevention,” includes a chart indicating conditions conducive to carburetor icing. For the approximate ambient temperature and dew point at the time of the accident, the flight was conducted in “Serious icing (glide power)” conditions.

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