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"loss of power for undetermined reason"

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Super Bowl bound 2008!!
Jun 30, 2005
I came across this NTSB accident report and am puzzled about the whole thing. How can there clearly be engine problems and then they can't find anything wrong later. Carb ice comes to mind but doesn't seem likely here. Maybe the fire destroyed the evidence though. Can anyone shed any light on this mystery? Stay safe everybody!

Theres only a certain amount of work the FAA is going to put into finding a problem, it could have been something they could'nt duplicate. Mags, carbs, even cylinders can have intermitant problems. Sticking valves don't always stick. Mags sometimes run great till the coils heat up and then they short out. Carbs, we won't even go there, water, dirt, stick floats etc. All can be intermitant. And of course carb ice like you said.
When I first started flying ag as a teen, we lost an airplane and pilot. The FAA arrived, and only wanted to know if anybody else got hurt, and the extent of the hazmat. Didn't care why or what, didn't want to see the wreckage from more than across the hangar. Nothing public, nothing exciting, no big loss for them...very little paperwork. Just a passing note for the NTSB report, no further investigation.

The nature of the accident all depends on what is done to determine the case and any recommendations, and making a determination isn't always possible even if one were to invest the time.
Attempting to turn back at 400 feet??? Aiy, aiy, aiy.... Fortunately the pilot survived to learn that lesson.

From the accident report:
"The pilot unsuccessfully attempted to evaluate the problem, and then at 400 feet, he initiated a turn back to the airport. During the turn, the airplane "stalled," impacted a tree, and a post-crash fire ensued."

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