GA Pilots: Watch Out For Carburetor Mice-ing


Well…here’s something they don’t teach you in ground school…

Mice Blamed for Plane Crash
Wednesday, 13 August 2008

TORRINGTON, CT (AP) — A Torrington man says he’s been told that mice brought down his small plane that crashed into a river in Rhode Island last week.

Forty-two-year-old Danny Hall was flying a 1968 single-engine Cessna that crashed into the Pawcatuck River on Aug. 2 after the engine failed about two miles from Westerly Airport.

Hall says a Federal Aviation Administration investigation found that mice had built a nest in the plane and when he pulled a device that prevents icing, the mice and their nest were sucked into the carburetor, causing the engine to seize up.

Hall says that without actually opening up the plane and looking inside there would have been no way of knowing the mice were there before takeoff.

Hall had only minor injuries.


That’s a good one, garp! :laughing:


PETA has been slow to issue a statement on this one.


Looks like this guy didn’t check his carb heat during his runup.


Anyone know if there’s an NTSB report on this one? I can’t get to open.


Nothing in the NTSB database


Thanks for sharing, that is an interesting incident.

Flight Safety magazine had a great article on carb icing this month. It reminded that at higher altitudes a normally aspirated engine will be more prone to carb icing, as it is running at lower power than in higher pressure (lower altitudes.) The accident plane in the article was a Piper Comanche.

In my experiences with flying Piper Warriors I learned to omit carb heat from my BC GUMP check, as the carberator is practically on the engine minimizing the probability of ice. Plus I was told by one of the instructors that using it constantly for preventive purpuses could cause “hot spots on the engine”. So I was surprised to hear of a Piper going down from carb ice issues. Maybe the comanche has a different carburator and engine placement that that of the Warriors I fly.