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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17LA062
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 27, 2016 in Piedmont, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2019
Aircraft: PIPER PA22, registration: N5499Z
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot reported that he performed several touch-and-go landings at a nearby airport and then returned to his home airport to perform several more touch-and-go landings. As he approached the runway for the third landing, he added throttle to adjust his glidepath; however, the engine did not respond. The pilot added that the engine continued to run but did not produce enough power to maintain altitude. The airplane continued to descend, and its landing gear caught a power line. The airplane then impacted terrain. Fuel was present on site. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The examination noted that the propeller blade tips were bent forward with gouges and chordwise scoring on the leading edges, consistent with the engine producing high power. The pilot reported that he did not apply carburetor heat on the approach; however, weather conditions in the area were conducive to the formation of serious carburetor icing at cruise power settings. Although the pilot did not apply carburetor heat and reported that the engine did not produce enough power to maintain altitude, the postaccident examination did not reveal any airplane mechanical malfunctions or failures, and propeller signatures indicate the engine was producing high power during the accident sequence. Thus, the reason for the pilot’s descent below glidepath could not be determined based on the available information.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s descent below glidepath, which resulted in the airplane’s impact with power lines.