Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Springfield, Tenn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was on the second leg of a VFR cross-country flight. He was flying at an altitude of 3,500 feet in order to remain below an overcast ceiling.
When he was 10 miles from the airport he began configuring the airplane for landing. He reduced engine power to about 1,500 rpm, set the mixture to full rich, but did not activate the carburetor heat. The engine lost power.
He performed a forced landing in a field. During the landing roll, the nose landing gear struck a ditch.
Responders noted that fuel was recovered from the airplane following the accident. The engine was run after the accident with no anomalies noted.
The temperature and dew point reported on the surface at an airport located about 21 nautical miles from the accident site were conducive to carburetor icing at both glide and cruise power settings.
Probable cause: The pilot did not apply carburetor heat during approach to landing, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to carburetor icing.
NTSB Identification: ERA12LA148
This January 2012 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.