NTSB Identification: ANC97LA153.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 21, 1997 in WASILLA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 185E, registration: N70122
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 was planning to ferry his airplane from a private airstrip to a maintenance facility. The airplane's last annual inspection was in 1988. The airplane had not been flown since 1989. The pilot did not obtain a ferry permit. Prior to takeoff, the pilot drained water from the fuel tanks, and added several gallons of fuel to each tank. He then sloshed the fuel around in each tank, drained them, and then added full fuel to each tank. The pilot then performed two separate engine run-ups, and did not encounter any engine problem. The pilot departed the airstrip in an easterly direction and climbed to about 120 to 200 feet above the ground. The engine suddenly quit running, and the pilot selected an emergency landing area near a road. During the landing approach to the ground, the airplane collided with a power line and several trees. The right wing was torn from the fuselage. An FAA airworthiness inspector found a small amount of water in the left wing fuel drain, the header tank drain, and the gascolator drain.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power due to water contaminated fuel, and the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection of the airplane. A factor associated with the accident was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing. Full narrative available
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