Icing!! For any pilot, regardless of how experienced he or she is, this word certainly means alarm bells.
It is something that none of the pilot would want to have on their airplane. This NTSB aviation accident report highlights how icing can be dangerous for your airplane.
A sport pilot was planning for a cross country flight.
Before departing he contacted the flight service station and had a weather briefing.
It was an Arion Lightning LS-1 that he was planning to fly and he conducted a preflight inspection for the aircraft just like any other good and well mannered pilot.
Everything went on smoothly till the airplane climbed to 2,000 feet. The pilot was already 10 miles away from the departure airport by this time.
This is when the aircraft engine started to show attitude!!
I mean it started to run “rough”.
Applying the carburetor heat was considered a good solution by the pilot. Unfortunately, it did not made any positive impact on the performance of the engine.
Returning back to the departure airport was the next best solution for the mushrooming problem.
Unfortunately, the aircraft engine did not helped him to even make it back to the airport.
The pilot reported that the engine power was very poor.
He was moving towards the earth faster than he should and found it better to land the airplane in a clear field nearby.
The pilot decided to perform a soft field landing approach with the aircraft that was losing altitude rapidly.
As the airplane touched the ground, the landing gear dug into the soft plowed field. But, it took some run before it stopped.
Skidding for some distance on its belly resulted in considerable damage to the aircraft.
The culprit in this aviation accident was icing. The weather conditions for that time duration were good enough to form serious icing at any given power setting.
As the pilot said, that he used the carburetor heat. It is possible that the ice must have formed to such a level that carburetor heat was not sufficient to burn it away and bring back complete engine power.
Probable cause of this aviation accident – due to carburetor icing there was partial loss in engine power and the forced landing on a rough field.