NTSB Identification: CHI98FA187.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 01, 1998 in LITTLE FALLS, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 421, registration: N541N
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
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.
A witness reported the airplane did not climb above 200 feet and reported seeing the airplane 'wobbling up and down' as it attempted to climb. He reported the airplane went into a sharp left bank and nose dived down. The airplane burned upon impact. The wreckage was located in a wooded area about 3/4 mile from the approach end of runway 30. Numerous open farm fields were located near the airplane's flight path. The winds were reported at 240 degrees at 22 knots gusting to 29 knots. The wreckage path was on a 040 heading and covered about 190 feet from initial tree impact to the location of the main wreckage. The engine inspection did not reveal any anomalies to either engine. The flight was the first maintenance check flight after the airplane had not been flown for 14 months. During maintenance the pilot had put about 100 gallons of water in the left main and left auxiliary fuel tanks to locate a fuel leak. A plug was installed in the left auxiliary fuel drain valve and the fuel tank could not be checked during preflight for fuel contamination without removing the plug.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's continued operation with a known deficiency in equipment. Full narrative available
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