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N9241J accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 36.011389°N, 106.970556°W
Nearest city Cuba, NM
36.022240°N, 106.958372°W
1.0 miles away
Tail number N9241J
Accident date 04 Sep 2016
Aircraft type Piper Pa 28-180
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 4, 2016, about 0435 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA 28-180 airplane, N9241J, impacted ground obstacles and nosed over during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power near Cuba, New Mexico. The pilot and his passenger reported no injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged during the nose over. The airplane was registered to an individual and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight and the flight did not operate on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Levelland Municipal Airport (LLN), near Levelland, Texas, about 0235 central daylight time, and was destined for the Four Corners Regional Airport (FMN), near Farmington, New Mexico.

The flight landed at LLN to obtain fuel and subsequently departed for FMN. About an hour after departing LLN, Albuquerque Center advised the pilot that there was light to moderate precipitation extending approximately 20 miles north of Albuquerque. He observed on an iPad application that the weather was a "non-factor" by the time he reached Albuquerque. The pilot continued the flight northwest and felt the engine suddenly lose power. He checked the engine gauges, which were all in the green. He advised Albuquerque Center of the loss of engine power. The pilot switched fuel tanks then activated the carb heat. He tried switching magnetos and enriching the mixture for "a few seconds." He leaned the mixture again and "deactivated the carb heat." He advised Albuquerque Center that the airplane was not going to be able to maintain altitude and declared an emergency. He used the iPad application map and he aligned the airplane over a road. The airplane's wing impacted a guard rail during the forced landing and the airplane subsequently nosed over. The pilot reported that fuel leaked from the fuel tank caps vents while he and his passenger exited the inverted airplane.

At 0453, the recorded weather at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), near Santa Fe, New Mexico, was: Wind calm; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 16 degrees C; dew point 12 degrees C; altimeter 30.08 inches of mercury.

SAF's temperature and dew point were plotted on a carburetor icing probability chart. The plot shows a probability of serious icing at a cruise power settings at the temperature and dew point reported about the time of the accident.

The Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, in part, stated:

When conditions are conducive to carburetor icing

during flight, periodic checks should be made to detect

its presence. If detected, full carburetor heat should be

applied immediately, and it should be left in the ON

position until you are certain that all the ice has been

removed. If ice is present, applying partial heat or

leaving heat on for an insufficient time might aggravate

the situation. In extreme cases of carburetor icing, even

after the ice has been removed, full carburetor heat

should be used to prevent further ice formation. A

carburetor temperature gauge, if installed, is very

useful in determining when to use carburetor heat.

NTSB Probable Cause

A partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined based on available information.

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