July 6, San Luis Obispo, Calif. / Piper PA28-181 Archer


About 08:15 PDT, a Piper Archer lost power while climbing to cruise altitude and was damaged in the subsequent forced landing near San Luis Obispo. The flight instructor and student pilot were uninjured. The instructor had received an instrument clearance for an IFR climb to VFR conditions on top. After reaching VFR on top, about 1,800 feet msl, the pilot reported that he applied carburetor heat to the engine. At that point, the engine rpm decreased to 1,800 and then to 1,500. The pilot descended through the cloud deck, broke out at 600 feet, and landed in an open field. Another airplane operated by the same company had recently experienced a loss of engine power and examination of that engine revealed a fibrous material contaminating the inside of the carburetor. Following this accident, the operator grounded his aircraft pending further investigation of the contamination source.


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