On May 15, 2012, about 1440 central daylight time, the pilot of a Taylorcraft BC12-D, N43635, made a forced landing in a field about 1 mile north of Marion, Arkansas, after the engine lost partial power. The flight instructor and student pilot both sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the student pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from General Dewitt Spain Airport (M01), Memphis, Tennessee, approximately 1430. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the flight instructor's accident report and corroborated by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the engine lost power about 10 minutes into the flight. The flight instructor assumed control of the airplane and configured it for a forced landing in a soybean field. He checked the magnetos and pumped the throttle but to no avail. When he was established on an approach to the field, the engine resumed developing power. After initiating a slow climb and turn back towards M01, the engine lost power again. The instructor, seated in the right seat, attempted to make a steep turn back towards the soybean field. He did not realize how low the airplane was and the airplane collided with the ground. The impact sheared off the left main wheel, and the outboard 4 to 5 feet of the right wing leading edge was crushed. In addition, the propeller was bent, and the engine cowling was pushed into the carburetor when the nose struck the ground. The airplane then fell back onto its tail wheel. The header tank was found to be about one-third full with auto gas and the propeller turned freely. No anomolies were noted with the engine or airframe.
The instructor and student told the FAA inspector that they had not used carburetor heat. According to the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) observation at West Memphis Municipal Airport (AWM), located about 8 miles northeast of the accident site, the temperature and dew point were 79 degrees and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. According to the “Carburetor Icing Probability Chart,” this temperature/dew point combination would be in the “serious icing (glide power)” range.