On September 27, 2012, about 1430 central daylight time, a Lake LA-4 airplane, N1127L, conducted a forced landing shortly after departing from the Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW), Kenosha, Wisconsin. The commercial rated pilot, sole occupant, was not injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight was originated from ENW, at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that the airplane had undergone an annual maintenance inspection and the accident flight was its first flight, since the work was performed. The pilot added that the run-up was normal. Part way down the runway, the engine started to "sputter"; he continued the flight straight ahead. The engine then lost power and he performed a forced landing to a grassy area.

The airplane was inspected on-site by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. The inspector reported that the airplane’s wing and fuselage sustained substantial damage, as well as damage to the landing gear. The inspector also noted that the airplane’s fuel selector was in the off position and electric fuel pump circuit breaker was pulled. The inspector reported that the pilot stated that he turned both off after the accident. The pilot added that he used a checklist before takeoff, he didn’t apply carburetor heat, and that the airplane was not known to have carburetor icing problems.

A review of the carburetor icing probability chart, located in the FAA's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, dated June 30, 2009, and relevant meteorological data, revealed that the weather conditions for carburetor icing were favorable for serious icing at glide power.

On October 17, 2012 under the supervision of the FAA inspector, an engine examination and test run was conducted. The inspector stated no abnormalities with the engine were found and it performed flawlessly during the engine test run. During the examination, the airplane’s fuel selector was turned to the off position and the engine started. The engine was then run through a run-up sequence, then at low rpm for 20 seconds; the engine ran at full power for another 20 seconds before quitting. A second test was performed without conducting the run-up sequence; the engine then ran for 35 seconds at full power before quitting. The inspector also noted that the carburetor heat control was not operational. He was able to free the linkage by applying pressure at the carburetor’s end of the control. The control then was functional from the cockpit, and worked during the subsequent engine runs. The inspector added that the control did not appear to have sustained any damage during the accident.

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