This January 2008 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: Piper Super Cruiser Location: Centerville, Wash. Injuries: 1 Minor. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was maneuvering in flight with the carburetor heat activated when the engine lost power. He attempted to restore power, however the engine did not respond. A forced landing ensued and the airplane subsequently hit terrain in a nose-low attitude.
The post-accident examination of the engine revealed no mechanical anomalies. However, trace amounts of water were noted in the carburetor’s accelerator pump during the examination. Data taken from a carburetor icing probability chart showed that the known temperature conditions were favorable for carburetor icing.
Probable cause: A loss of engine power due to carburetor icing conditions and the failure of the pilot to use the correct amount of carburetor heat for the existing conditions.
For more information: NTSB.gov