NTSB Identification: NYC97LA049.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 29, 1997 in NORTH ANDOVER, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N67898
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.

While on a 2 mile final approach to a runway, the airplane's engine lost power. The pilot was unable to restore full power, and could not maintain altitude. The airplane then struck trees about 50 feet above the ground. During preflight inspection, the right wing fuel tank drain was frozen, and had to be heated. The first two fuel samples revealed a small amount of water, but the third and fourth samples were clear. The left tank drain was not frozen, and contained a small amount of water. No water was detected in the filter drain. Examination of the wreckage, while the outside ambient temperature (OAT) was below freezing, revealed a small amount of water and contaminants in the carburetor bowl, and the fuel drain. When the fuel caps were removed, the sounds of the tanks expanding from the in rushing air were heard. After the wings were removed and placed in a heated hanger, approximately 1 cup of dirty water was found in the fuel tanks. The engine was test run satisfactorily. At the time of the accident, the OAT had been below freezing for the last 24 hours.

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

Fuel vents blocked by frozen moisture which resulted in restricted fuel flow to the engine and subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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