NTSB Identification: MIA97FA217.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 25, 1997 in NAPLES, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/1998
Aircraft: Gulfstream American AA-5B, registration: N28246
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The aircraft had a history of fuel caps leaking water into the fuel tanks, and repairs had been attempted. About 3 to 4 inches of rain had fallen since the aircraft was refueled about two days before the accident. Water was found in the fuel tanks during the preflight inspection. After takeoff the engine lost power, and the pilots decided to return to the airport. The second pilot stated the pilot-in-command was flying the aircraft, and after reversing course, the stall horn activated. Subsequently, the aircraft crashed on a road after clearing a building, a 25 foot sign, and a 25 foot palm tree. Postcrash examination showed the engine fuel system contained water contamination; there was no evidence of engine mechanical failure or malfunction. The left and right fuel tank caps were found to leak water into the tanks during postcrash tests. The pilot-in-command's logbook showed he last flew 11 months before the accident.

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

leaking fuel cap(s), due to inadequate maintenance/repair, which resulted in water contamination of the fuel; inadequate preflight by the flight crew; and improper planning/decision by the flight crew. Factors relating to the accident were: high obstructions in the emergency landing area, and the pilot-in-command's lack of recent flying experience.

Full narrative available

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