ERA10LA314
ERA10LA314

On June 16, 2010, about 1315 eastern daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC, N84362, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power while attempting to land at Kaolin Field Airport (OKZ), Sandersville, Georgia. The certificated private pilot/owner incurred minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated from Berkeley County Airport (MKS), Moncks Corner, South Carolina, about 1100, and was destined for Middle Georgia Regional Airport (MCN), Macon, Georgia. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

During a telephone interview, the pilot stated that earlier in the day he took his nephew for a short local flight. He conducted an engine run-up before the flight, during which the he applied carburetor heat and observed a "normal" drop in rpm, and a subsequent increase in rpm once the carburetor heat was removed. The pilot stated that during the flight, he noticed that the communications radio would not transmit, though he could hear transmissions from other aircraft.

After landing, the pilot topped off the airplane's fuel tanks prior to departing MKS for MCN. The pilot stated that he waited approximately 20 minutes after fueling to take a sample from the fuel tanks, and noted no water or debris in the fuel. No discrepancies were noted during the subsequent engine run-up.

During the flight to MCN, he tried unsuccessfully to communicate with air traffic control and on the common advisory frequencies for several airports along his route. Since MCN was a tower-controlled airport, the pilot elected to divert to OKZ, which was not tower-controlled.

Approximately 2.5 miles from the airport, the pilot began a descent to traffic pattern altitude. He reduced engine power to 1,500 rpm and applied carburetor heat. The engine "ran down" past 700 rpm, and he removed the carburetor heat and applied power, but the engine "sputtered and quit," and the propeller "stopped." The pilot made several attempts to restart the engine, but power could not be restored. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a field. The airplane landed "hard," bounced several times, impacted a berm, and came to rest on a road approximately one-quarter mile from the end of runway 31 at OKZ.

The airplane was moved from the road to a location on the airport, where it was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. According to the inspector, the airplane's engine firewall, wing struts, and fuselage were substantially damaged. The header fuel tank contained approximately 8.5 gallons of uncontaminated fuel. The inspector could not access the gascolator or carburetor.

An engine test run was conducted on June 29, 2010, under the supervision of an FAA inspector. A fuel can containing fuel recovered from the airplane's header tank was plumbed to the fuel system forward of the gascolator, which was damaged during the accident sequence. The engine started without hesitation and ran at approximately 700-800 rpm for about 10 minutes. The fragility of the engine test stand precluded test operation at higher power settings. Engine operation throughout the test was smooth and continuous, with no anomalies noted.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on June 6, 2006. The pilot reported 125 hours of flight experience, of which 40 hours were in the accident airplane.

FAA records indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1946, and was registered to the pilot on January 19, 2010. It was equipped with a 100-horsepower, Teledyne Continental Motors O-200 engine. It was a high-wing, two-place, monoplane of metal tube and fabric construction, with a fixed, tailwheel landing gear configuration.

The 1253 weather observation at MCN included winds from 310 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clear skies below 10,000 feet; temperature 29 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 23 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.12 inches of mercury.

According to FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35 carburetor icing envelope, the temperature and dewpoint about the time of the accident were favorable for the formation of serious carburetor icing at the glide power setting.

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