NTSB Identification: MIA96LA188.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 17, 1996 in TROY, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N6481L
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 airplane had been grounded the day before the accident after loss of engine power during takeoff, followed by a successful forced landing on the runway. The airplane had been refueled at the FBO just before the engine lost power. Two mechanics, examined the airplane. The airplane was checked okay, test flown, and remained at the airport overnight. The next day, a pilot arrived to return the airplane to Eglin Air Force Base. The pilot took fuel samples from the main sump, and 'found approximately 2' of water and sediment in the bottom of the sample.' He drained the right tank and stated that he 'found approximately 1' of water and sediment and 1/4' fuel....' He took several more fuel samples, and 'found the fuel to be all clean.' The pilot decided to fly in the traffic pattern before departing for Florida, to test the airplane. He performed an engine run up and found everything 'normal.' He flew twice around the airport traffic pattern, and was on takeoff at an altitude of about 200 to 300 feet above the ground (AGL), when the engine lost complete power. The pilot elected to land in a small field south of the airport, but the airplane struck trees, nosed over, and came to rest upside down. A postaccident test-run of the engine was performed. The engine operated normally above 1500 RPM to 2200 RPM, but it would not idle below 1500 RPM. The carburetor was removed from the engine and examined. The examination revealed water in the bowl, and dirt inside the carburetor.

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

fuel contamination, which resulted in loss of engine power, a forced landing, and impact with trees. A factor relating to the accident was: inadequate maintenance and/or inspection after the previous loss of engine power and forced landing.

Full narrative available

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