NTSB Identification: IAD96LA043.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 16, 1996 in SIDNEY, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/11/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 177A, registration: N30422
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 reported that the airplane was in cruise flight at 3000 feet MSL, when the engine began to sputter, then lost power. The pilot stated that he applied carburetor heat, switched fuel tanks, and turned on the fuel boost pumps, but all restart attempts were unsuccessful. He made a forced landing in a rough field, and the airplane was damaged during the landing roll. Postaccident examination revealed evidence of fuel contamination. A brown colored substance was found in the fuel sump drain. The engine was test run using auxiliary fuel and auxiliary electrical power. During the test run, the engine ran smoothly with no indication of a malfunction.

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

fuel contamination, and the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in subsequent loss of engine power during cruise flight. A factor relating to the accident was: rough terrain in the emergency landing area.

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