NTSB Identification: SEA97LA173.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 18, 1997 in GRAHAM, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 170, registration: N4292V
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.
During cruise flight, approximately 9 minutes after takeoff, the engine RPM dropped to 800 RPM without a throttle reduction, and would not recover despite the pilot's efforts at corrective action. The pilot made a forced landing over power lines into a soft field. The aircraft's right main landing gear collapsed during the forced landing. The pilot reported that there were 20 gallons of fuel on board at takeoff. On-site and follow-up examinations revealed that the aircraft's left wing fuel tank was empty, that the right wing tank contained 11 to 12 gallons of fuel which was contaminated with about 3 pints of water, and that water was also present in the carburetor. The pilot reported that his preflight actions included checking oil and performing a sump drain.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Inadequate aircraft preflight by the pilot-in-command, and water contamination in the fuel resulting in a loss of engine power. A factor was a power transmission line in the forced landing area. Full narrative available
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