To all my pilot friends, I beg you, before each takeoff, especially if you have just landed, check for carburetor icing, and teach your students to take the habit of doing so. Not necessarily a full run-up, just a mag check and carb heat.
On a hot and humid day: short circuits + brief stop = carb icing -> then during the next take-off the engine may choke!
It is a story that is repeated too often (I personally experienced it and I know too many pilots to whom it happened) and no one seems to suspect the problem. Even the NTSB generally says the cause as “unknown” when we know very well what it is.
So please, do not take this lightly, even if your engine was working 5 minutes ago, you run it nearly idle when you’re on the ground and that’s when the ice forms, and much faster than you can believe. Even light icing can be critical during takeoff.
Help me to change the standard, it is not something that is well explained in the schools because it is not well understood even by experienced pilots … unless they have actually lived it, which I do not wish on anyone.
-Jean-Sébastien Dominique, July 2014