Santiam, OR, USA
While en route at cruise power, the aircraft's engine began to lose power. Soon thereafter the engine slowed to idle rpm, and the pilot elected to make an emergency landing at a nearby snow-covered Oregon State Airport. Although the touchdown was successful, during the landing roll, the aircraft nosed over in the two-foot deep snow. A post-accident carburetor teardown revealed that the orifice to the main metering jet was partially plugged by a putty-like contaminant.
On January 20, 2001, approximately 1430 Pacific standard time, an Ercoupe 415G, N94432, nosed over in the snow during a forced landing at Santiam Junction State Airport, Santiam, Oregon. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, but the aircraft, which was owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal pleasure flight, which was en route to Prineville, Oregon, in visual meteorological conditions, departed Independence, Oregon, about 55 minutes earlier. No flight plan had been filed. The ELT, which was activated by the accident sequence, was turned off at the scene. According to the pilot, just after he passed Santiam Junction Airport, the aircraft's engine began to lose power. He therefore applied carburetor heat and turned back toward the airport. Soon thereafter, the engine went to idle RPM, and the pilot elected to execute a forced landing on runway 06 at the Santiam Junction Airport. Although the touchdown was successful, as the aircraft slowed, it nosed over in the snow that had accumulated on the runway surface. According to the pilot, the snow was approximately two feet deep. During a post-accident engine examination, the carburetor was disassembled, and it was discovered that the orifice to the main metering jet was almost completely plugged by ball of putty-like contaminant. No similar material was found anywhere else in or on the carburetor, and it could not be determined when or how the contamination had entered the carburetor bowl.
The partial blockage of the carburetor main metering jet orifice by contamination of undetermined origin. Factors include a snow-covered runway upon which the pilot executed a forced landing.
Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database
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