The pilot of the Cessna 140 stated that before he departed for a local flight from the airport at Lancaster, S.C., the wind was “squirrelly and swapping around.”
He thought the wind at the time of takeoff favored Runway 21. After flying for about 15 to 20 minutes, he returned to the airport and flew over it to observe the windsock, which indicated the wind had shifted and now favored Runway 3.
He entered the airport traffic pattern and noted that his ground speed was “a little fast” but he continued the approach, touching down approximately 1/3 of the way down the runway at a ground speed faster than normal. He added power to go around, and the engine responded normally.
However, the airplane’s speed was marginal and it barely cleared power lines off the end of the runway, and then stalled into the trees beyond the power lines. The pilot was not injured.
The post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the carburetor heat was on at the time of accident. The activation of carburetor heat degrades engine performance. The fuel selector was off, and the throttle was full forward at the time of the crash.
The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident as the pilot’s decision to land with a tailwind and his failure to turn off the carburetor heat during a go-around, which resulted in degraded engine performance and the airplane’s subsequent collision with trees at the end of the runway.
NTSB Identification: ERA13CA208
This April 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.