Aircraft: Piper Super Cub. Injuries: None. Location: Pullman, Wash. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was maneuvering the airplane at a low altitude over open, snow-covered terrain when he noticed that the engine was running rough and beginning to lose power.
He applied the carburetor heat and added full engine power, but could not stop the descent. Just as the engine started to regain power, the main landing gear broke through the crusty top layer of the snow. The propeller hit the snow and the pilot decreased the engine power and attempted to transition to a landing.
The airplane nosed over. According to the pilot, with the exception of the accumulation of carburetor ice, there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s delayed application of carburetor heat while maneuvering, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power.
NTSB Identification: WPR11CA072
This December 2010 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.