NTSB Identification: BFO94LA147.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 23, 1994 in PHOENIXVILLE, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/23/1995
Aircraft: RANS S-14 AIRAILE, registration: NONE
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 STUDENT PILOT DEPARTED A PRIVATE AIRSTRIP HEADING WEST. DURING THE CLIMB HE MADE A 90 DEGREE TURN NORTHBOUND. THE ENGINE STOPPED SUDDENLY, AND THE AIRPLANE CONTINUED TO TURN RIGHT TO THE SOUTH. THE AIRPLANE CROSSED OVER THE RUNWAY, AND THEN MADE A LEFT 180 TO 270 DEGREE TURN. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED TREES SOUTH OF THE RUNWAY. POSTACCIDENT EXAMINATION REVEALED THAT THE AFT CARBURETOR FUEL BOWL CONTAINED WATER. AN ENGINE TEST RUN WAS PERFORMED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE FAA. THE FAA STATED THAT THE ENGINE RAN SMOOTHLY. A WITNESS STATED THAT HE OBSERVED THE PILOT PRIOR TO TAKEOFF, AND STATED 'NO PREFLIGHT INSPECTION DONE.' THE STUDENT PILOT'S TOTAL FLIGHT TIME WAS UNABLE TO BE DETERMINED.

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

the pilot's failure to perform a preflight inspection, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel contamination.

Full narrative available

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