Engine failure leads to forced landing

This May 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others. Aircraft: Cessna 152.

Location: Monroe, Wash.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The airplane was in cruise flight when the engine began to lose power. The pilot applied carburetor heat, but engine power was not restored. The pilot made a forced landing in an open field. The nose gear collapsed during the rollout.

An examination of the engine revealed no evidence of internal component failure. Review of a carburetor icing probability chart disclosed that the temperature and dew point were within an area of the chart annotated “Moderate Icing – Cruise Power or Serious Icing Descent Power” at the time of the accident.

Probable cause: A loss of engine power due to carburetor icing, and the pilot’s delay in using carburetor heat.

For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20070518X00592&ntsbno=LAX07LA155&akey=1.

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