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N1406K accident description

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Crash location 42.665556°N, 83.420278°W
Nearest city Pontiac, MI
42.638922°N, 83.291047°W
6.8 miles away
Tail number N1406K
Accident date 23 Aug 2015
Aircraft type Luscombe 8
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On August 23, 2015, about 1015 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe 8E airplane, N1406K, was substantially damaged while landing at Oakland County International Airport (KPTK), Pontiac, Michigan. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated without a flight plan. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Sugar Springs Airpark (5M6), Gladwin, Michigan, about 0830.

According to the pilot, he was cleared to land on runway 27R; he wrote that the winds favored runway 18 but that runway was closed for an airshow later that afternoon. During touchdown the airplane started to "weathervane" into the wind. The pilot applied full right rudder and brake and was unable to correct the weathervane. The pilot added power to conduct a go around and the engine did not respond. The airplane skidded off of the runway, struck a runway light and sign, and came to rest on the nose. The right wing and fuselage were substantially damaged.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident reported that when the carburetor was removed from the engine, the fuel inside of the carburetor had a yellow tint and smelled like turpentine with a hint of 100 LL. The fuel was drained from the fuel bowl on the bottom of the carburetor.

The fuel inside of the wing tanks was consistent in smell and color with 100LL. The left wing fuel tank contained brown water stains and evidence of corrosion. The fuel sending unit was tarnished and the fuel tank contained contaminants of unknown origin.

The carburetor was sent to the manufacturer for further examination and flow testing. The carburetor tested slightly rich off idle and was otherwise unremarkable.

A sample of the fuel from the carburetor was sent to a laboratory for further examination. The analysis of the chemical composition of the fuel sample was consistent with previously measured aviation gasolines. Water content analysis revealed a water concentration in the fuel sample of 102 (plus or minus 20) u­g/g.

An examination of the remaining airframe, flight controls, fuel system, and engine revealed no further anomalies.

Wind at the time of the accident was reported as 170 degrees at 6 knots. The calculated crosswind component was 6 knots quartering tailwind from the left. Relevant meteorological information revealed a serious risk for carburetor icing at glide power.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control while landing with a left quartering tailwind. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inability to conduct a go-around because of a loss of engine power due to carburetor icing.

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