Aircraft: Piper Comanche. Injuries: None. Location: Colorado Springs, Colo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: During the IFR flight, the pilot notified ATC that the airplane was accumulating structural icing. He asked for a lower cruise altitude.
ATC provided the pilot with a lower altitude, but the airplane was still in icing conditions and in clouds. The controller was unable to provide an even lower altitude due to the minimum vectoring altitude.
The airplane had accumulated 1-1/2 to 2 inches of structural icing when the pilot saw the airport and prepared for an approach.
He kept the speed up in the pattern, however, on short final he reduced power and the airplane stalled at an airspeed of about 105 mph. It came down short of the runway and sustained substantial wing damage.
The pilot stated that he should have obtained the weather conditions at his destination in flight, because they had worsened, or he should have sought an ice-free solution, which may have been behind his flight path.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during the landing with known structural icing, which resulted in the airplane’s stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to divert to an area where conditions were not conducive to icing.
NTSB Identification: CEN13CA005
This October 2012 accident report is are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.