NTSB Identification: ATL96LA108.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 17, 1996 in GATESVILLE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N7168K
Injuries: 1 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.

After takeoff from a canal in a float plane, while cruising about 500 feet above a swamp, the engine quit. The airplane was force landed in the swamp. Following the accident, the pilot examined the engine and found water in the gascolator and the fuel line between the gascolator and the carburetor. He also reported that the airplane was equipped with long range fuel tanks that had flush fitting fuel filler caps. Previously, he had had problems with water in the fuel.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection which resulted in engine stoppage due to water contamination in the fuel system. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

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