According to the pilot, the Piper PA-28 experienced an abrupt, total loss of engine power during the initial climb on takeoff.
He lowered the nose and conducted a forced landing to an open field near Lexington, Missouri.
Upon touchdown, the nose landing gear collapsed and the engine mount sustained substantial damage.
Nearby temperature and dew point were plotted on a carburetor icing probability chart.
Although the atmospheric conditions present at the time of the accident were conducive to the development of serious carburetor icing at a cruise power settings, the pilot stated that an operational check of the carburetor heat during the pre-takeoff engine run-up produced a drop in rpm, consistent with an absence of carburetor ice.
He did not report reduced power output during the engine run-up or upon application of takeoff power. It is unlikely that carburetor ice resulted in the sudden loss of power experienced after takeoff.
Probable cause: A total loss of engine power during takeoff for reasons that could not be determined based on available information.
NTSB Identification: CEN17LA031
This October 2016 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.