The Cessna 182 pilot reported that he had flown a group of skydivers to altitude for an intentional parachute jump about three miles north of the airport near Boulder, Colo., and was returning for landing at the time of the accident. The plane was on final approach when the engine lost power.
Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful, and he ditched the airplane into a lake short of the runway.
The pilot reported using carburetor heat during the descent, however he did not periodically apply engine power (clear the engine) during the descent.
According to FAA Advisory Circular 20-113, Pilot Precautions and Procedures to be Taken in Preventing Aircraft Reciprocating Engine Induction System and Fuel System Icing Problems, “Heat should be applied for a short time to warm the induction system before beginning a prolonged descent with the engine throttled and left on during the descent. Power lever advancement should be performed periodically during descent to assure that power recovery can be achieved.”
Local weather conditions were conducive to the formation of carburetor icing.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to adequately clear carburetor icing, resulting in a loss of engine power on final approach following a descent at idle power.
NTSB Identification: CEN13LA525
This August 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.