NTSB Identification: ANC97LA102.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 11, 1997 in TALKEETNA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N1961P
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 local area flight. After about 1.6 hours of flight at 1,200 feet AGL, the pilot positioned the fuel selector from the left fuel tank to the right tank. The engine began to run rough and lose power. Emergency procedures failed to remedy the engine roughness, and the pilot selected an open field area for a precautionary landing. The terrain was soft, and during the landing roll, the airplane nosed over. During the recovery of the airplane, it was turned over onto its landing gear. Recovery personnel reported a check of the fuel tanks revealed about 1 1/2 cups of water in the right fuel tank. Water was not found in the gascolator or the carburetor. After the propeller was replaced, the engine was started, and developed 2,700 RPM. The pilot reported that the weather conditions at the time of the accident included broken clouds at 1,500 feet AGL, with light rain.

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

water contamination of the fuel supply. Soft, unsuitable terrain for the precautionary landing were factors.

Full narrative available

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