The student pilot was on his first solo cross-country flight in a Cessna 150 near Matlock, Wash., when the weather started to deteriorate. He descended to a lower altitude to avoid clouds and proceeded toward the nearest airport.
When he tried to level off at the lower altitude, the airplane continued to descend at a rate of about 700 feet per minute. He applied full engine power, but the engine did not respond and the airplane continued to descend.
He decided to make a forced landing on a nearby road. While on the base leg for the landing, he applied carburetor heat. During the landing flare, the left wing hit a road sign and the airplane went off the road and flipped over.
The post-accident examination and engine run revealed no mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.
The weather conditions at the time of the accident were conducive for serious icing at cruise power settings.
The NTSB attributed the accident to the partial loss of engine power after a descent to a lower altitude due to the student pilot’s delayed action in applying carburetor heat while operating in conditions conducive to carburetor icing as the cause of the accident.
NTSB Identification: WPR13LA101
This January 2013 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.