NTSB Identification: CHI95FA161.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 29, 1995 in DOWNERS GROVE, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/1996
Aircraft: BEECH A35, registration: N8480A
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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.

At another airport, days prior to the accident, the airplane was fueled and parked outside. After the airplane was returned to its home base, it was parked in a hangar. On the day of the accident when the airplane was pre-flighted fuel sumps were drained and no water or contaminants were found. It was then flown on a local flight for less than one hour. The airplane was then re-fueled, after which the fuel sumps were not drained. On the next flight the airplane suffered a total loss of engine power during initial climb. The pilot was unable to restore power and conducted a forced landing. The airplane slid off the end of the runway (landing gear retracted), impacted trees and caught on fire. Subsequent examination failed to reveal any pre-existing mechanical anomalies in the engine or airframe. Fuel samples examined from most recent fueling pump failed to find water or other contaminants.

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

fuel contamination (water), and the pilot's inadequate aircraft preflight. A factor was trees.

Full narrative available

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