NTSB Identification: MIA96LA187.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 17, 1996 in ST PETERSBURG, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N6819Y
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.

The pilot departed on a flight on the day after an annual inspection had been completed. After departing, he reported, the right engine was 'running rough.' The control tower cleared him for an emergency landing back at the airport. While returing, the pilot was unable to maintain altitude, and the flight impacted water about 1 mile south of the airport. According to the pilot's statement, he was flying westbound over water, when the right engine 'stopped.' He stated that he 'secured' the right engine, and about 1 minute later, the left engine 'stopped.' He 'secured' the left engine, and the airplane 'hit water.' The pilot stated that he was in the air about 15 minutes when the loss of engine power occurred. Examination of the right engine revealed, there was rusty water in the sediment bowl at the fire wall; rusty water and contamination were also found in the respective fuel servo screen. The left engine sediment bowl was found dry; the respective fuel servo screen was found with rust stains and contamination with 'trash' in the screen. The fuel selector valves operated without any discrepancies. No preimpact mechanical discrepancy was found with either engine.

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

a loss of engine power due to fuel contamination, which resulted in a forced landing (ditching) in water. Factors relating to the accident were: an inadquate annual inspection by maintenance personnel, and an inadequate preflight inspection by the pilot.

Full narrative available

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