NTSB Identification: NYC97LA018.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 16, 1996 in NORTH ADAMS, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/1997
Aircraft: DUBIS TEAM MINIMAX, registration: N4335W
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 reported that the engine lost total power while in cruise flight at 2100 feet, and he attempted a forced landing. According to the pilot, when he made his approach to a designated field, he realized that he had overshot it. He then saw another nearby field, and headed for it. As he approached, he tried to pass through a clearing in a tree line bordering the field. As the airplane went through the tree line, its left wing hit a tree, which spun the plane around. The plane then landed in the Hoosac River. Examination revealed that the fuel was dark in color and contained particles of an undetermined composition. There was no provision for sumping fuel to check for water or other contaminants.

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

fuel contamination, which resulted in a loss of engine power. Factors relating to the accident were: the lack of a drain in the fuel system to properly check the fuel before flight, and the pilot's failure (or inability) to detect the contaminated fuel.

Full narrative available

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