NTSB Identification: NYC94FA165.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 02, 1994 in CHATSWORTH, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/05/1995
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8-KCAB, registration: N8670V
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN HANGARED FOR SEVERAL WEEKS UNUSED. ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT THE PILOT FLEW THE AIRPLANE FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES AND REHANGARED IT. THE AIRPLANE REMAINED IN THE HANGAR FOR THE NEXT WEEK. THE MORNING OF THE ACCIDENT THE PILOT WASHED THE AIRPLANE AND REHANGARED IT. THAT AFTERNOON THE PILOT REMOVED THE AIRPLANE FROM THE HANGAR AND DEPARTED THE PRIVATE AIRSTRIP. PERSONNEL AT THE AIRSTRIP COULD NOT CONFIRM IF A PREFLIGHT WAS ACCOMPLISHED OR FUEL SAMPLES WERE TAKEN. SEVERAL WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE PERFORM INSIDE LOOPS OVER THE PRIVATE AIRSTRIP, RECOVERING AT TREE TOP LEVEL. WHEN THE AIRPLANE REACHED INVERTED FLIGHT DURING THE THIRD LOOP, THE ENGINE LOST POWER AND THE NOSE OF THE AIRPLANE DROPPED. THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED, IMPACTED THE GROUND, AND WAS CONSUMED BY A POST CRASH FIRE. EXAMINATION REVEALED THE FUEL SYSTEM WAS INTACT FROM THE HEADER TANK TO THE INJECTOR NOZZLES. WATER WAS FOUND THROUGH OUT THE FUEL SYSTEM. NO OTHER ANOMALIES WERE NOTED IN THE ENGINE OR AIRFRAME.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight that failed to detect water- contaminated fuel which resulted in the loss of engine power and the pilot's decision to conduct flight at an altitude too low to initiate emergency procedures.

Full narrative available

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