NTSB Identification: NYC94LA142.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 31, 1994 in NORTH CANAAN, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/05/1995
Aircraft: ARTHUR CHASE EAA BIPLANE, registration: N35AE
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 AIRPLANE WAS ON TAKEOFF CLIMB AT 400 TO 500 FEET AGL WHEN THE ENGINE LOST POWER. THE AIRPLANE STRUCK TREES DURING THE FORCED LANDING. POST ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION FOUND WATER IN THE FUEL LINE FROM THE CARBURETOR TO THE FUEL STRAINER AND THE CARBURETOR BOWL. THE FUEL TANK WAS FLAT ON THE BOTTOM WITH A DRAIN LINE LEADING TO THE FUEL STRAINER EMANATING FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE TANK. A TEST CONDUCTED BY THE OWNER FOUND THAT WITH THE AIRFRAME IN A THREE POINT ATTITUDE ON THE GROUND AND THE FUEL TANK EMPTY, IT WAS POSSIBLE TO ADD 40 OUNCES OF FUEL PRIOR TO FUEL RUNNING OUT OF THE DRAIN HOLE. ACCORDING TO THE EAA, THE DESIGN OF THE FUEL TANK DESIGN WAS DETERMINED BY THE INDIVIDUAL BUILDER. THE AIRPLANE WAS BUILT BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection that failed to detect water contaminated fuel and which resulted in a loss of engine power. The inadequately designed fuel drain system was also a cause.

Full narrative available

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