NTSB Identification: NYC99LA093.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 17, 1999 in BROOKSVILLE, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M20E, registration: N1987Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot purchased the airplane on the day of the accident, and added 45 gallons of fuel to it. He took four samples of fuel from the left tank before it was free of water. No contamination was found in the right tank. After takeoff the engine ran rough and the pilot returned to the airfield. On the ground the engine smoothed out, and the pilot departed again, stopped once for minor maintenance, then continued on. En route, the fuel pressure dropped, and the engine began running rough again. The pilot could not maintain altitude, and executed a forced landing to a road. The pilot deplaned, talked to several people, and made a telephone call. Afterwards, the pilot said he felt cold and faint, then collapsed, and could not be revived. During inspection of the airplane's fuel system, about 3 ounces of dirty water were drained from the left wing. Fuel from the right wing was free of contaminants. Fuel injector lines initially produced fuel that was rust-colored, with water in it. Filtered fuel left a pink, paraffin-like residue. An autopsy revealed the pilot had an enlarged heart, and severe coronary arteriosclerosis with arteriosclerotic heart disease.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Contaminated fuel which resulted in the forced landing, and a heart attack from an adrenaline rush that interacted with preexisting coronary disease which resulted in the pilot's death.

Full narrative available

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