On September 18, 2010, at 1215 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172D, N2483Y, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, following a loss of engine power, near Palm Beach, Florida. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which last departed Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA), West Palm Beach, Florida, and was destined for Boca Raton Airport (BCT), Boca Raton, Florida. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, he was flying northbound at an altitude of 1,200 feet, about 3/4-mile from the coastline, when the engine stated to "sputter." He verified the fuel selector was in the "both" position, the mixture control was in the rich position, and he checked the position of the throttle. The pilot further stated that the throttle would not respond to control inputs and it seemed to be "dead." When asked, he could not recall if he had activated the carburetor heat.
The pilot subsequently selected an unpopulated portion of the beach, and executed a soft field landing. During the landing sequence, the left wing tip struck the ground as the nose landing gear dug into the soft sand, resulting in substantial damage to the airplane's left wing.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane following the accident. A test-run of the engine was conducted, with no anomalies noted. Additionally, the inspector also functionally tested the operation of the throttle and carburetor heat, with no anomalies of either noted.
According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1962, and was equipped with a 145-horsepower, Teledyne-Continental Motors O-300 reciprocating engine. It was a four-place, all metal, high-wing, single-engine, cantilever monoplane with fixed tricycle landing gear.
At 1053, the weather reported at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), West Palm Beach, Florida, located 5 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, included winds from 080 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 17 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; scattered clouds at 3,500 feet and broken clouds at 5,500 feet; temperature 31 C, dewpoint 21 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of mercury.
Interpolation of a carburetor icing probability chart published by the FAA showed the potential for serious icing at glide power settings, given the temperature and dewpoint that existed at the time.