NTSB Identification: CHI99FA029.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 14, 1998 in WICHITA, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 182F, registration: N3240U
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 Cessna 182F impacted terrain while towing a glider on initial climb out from a private airstrip. The glider pilot reported that the tow plane pilot had taxied to and from an overhead fuel tank for refueling the aircraft; the engine was then started 30-40 minutes later for departure. The glider pilot stated that at an altitude of 100-150 feet, there was an audible drop in engine noise. In describing his fuelling procedures, the glider pilot stated that he had tried to open a petcock valve at the bottom of the overhead tank but found it difficult to turn and attempted to drain from it only once. Trees which exhibited scarring on branches which were approximately 3 inches in diameter along with the aircraft's left wingtip were noted to be 36 feet northeast of the main wreckage. The left wing's leading edge had a 4 inch wide impression located 4 feet outboard from the its wing root. Approximately 4 oz of water from the left wing tank, 21-1/2 oz of water from the right wing tank and 4-1/2 oz of water from the carburetor bowl was found. The left and right fuel screens were unobstructed. The fuel selector was at the 'BOTH' position. Samples from the fuel tank showed the presence of water when the tank sump, fuel line sump and fuel hose were drained. The fuel level within the fuel storage tank was estimated to be 1/4 full. The internal wall of the tank was rusted. There was a petcock on the bottom of the tank along with a clear fuel sump drain inline with the hose.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and contaminated fuel supply.

Full narrative available

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