I have to agree with you on that point. If you do not have carb ice and need full power, carb heat would not be good in that case.This isn't true in every case. Carb heat causes a slight loss of power which can be a problem if power available is marginal. In one of my early solo flights in a 152 in a Utah summer afternoon (high density altitude) I left carb heat in when doing a touch and go. Cleared the power lines 3/4 mile south of the airport by about 50 feet. With carb heat off climb wasn't spectacular, but it was better than that.
I hear ya... I flew a number of years out of KAFF in the 70’s, and mixture check was heavily emphasized.Here at Meadow Lake in Colorado (KFLY), the runway is altitude 6874. Every year, there is an issue where the pilot comes from a lower-level airport and has trouble with go-arounds.
So sad, RIP pilots. The BLM and FS have so many safety precautions in place, normally including an air boss overhead in an Aero Commander that I am surprised this happened at all, but I guess you can’t eliminate all the risk no matter what.
Of course, the other factor is that people in a crisis sometimes lose control of the aircraft trying to stave off the inevitable. They refuse open ground close to them, with the hope of keeping the airplane aloft long enough to make it back to a runway. This often results in a low altitude stall/spin.Although there are no facts yet to back up that possibility, it would answer at least one large question... there are plenty of open spaces near that airport where you could perform a controlled crash (in the event or a power loss or fire), and the airplane went through a building instead of into an open field. If you were conscious and had any control of it whatsoever, you would have had several far more attractive choices than the middle of a pretty small town.