NTSB Identification: ATL91LA162.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45728.
Accident occurred Friday, August 16, 1991 in MONROE, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/24/1993
Aircraft: HAROLD J. EAGEN PITTS SPECIAL S-1C, registration: N9HE
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 PRIVATE PILOT WAS FLYING THE NEWLY PURCHASED HOMBEBUILT AIRPLANE WHEN THE ENGINE BEGAN TO RUN ROUGHLY. THIS ENGINE ROUGHNESS COINCIDED WITH SWITCHING FUEL TANKS. HE LANDED AND HAD SOME FRIENDS CHECK THE AIRPLANE; IT WAS THEN ASSUMED THAT OLD FUEL STILL REMAINED IN THE UPPER FUEL TANK. AFTER A LOCAL 'TEST FLIGHT', HE DECIDED TO CONTINUE THE TRIP USING THE LOWER TANK ONLY. SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, HE REPORTED THAT THE ENGINE WAS 'DETONATING'. HE WAS OBSERVED ON SHORT FINAL AT A NEARBY AIRPORT, THEN HE WAS OBSERVED EXECUTING A GO-AROUND. THE AIRPLANE THEN DESCENDED INTO NEARBY TREES, CRASHED, AND BURNED. INSPECTION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED WATER AND CORROSION IN THE AIRCRAFT FUEL SYSTEM. THE AIRPLANE, WHICH WAS ABOUT 10-YEARS-OLD, HAD A TOTAL FLIGHT TIME OF 46 HOURS. REPORTEDLY, IT WAS STORED FOR SEVERAL YEARS PRIOR TO THE PURCHASE.

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

CONTAMINATION AND WATER EXISTING IN THE FUEL SYSTEM WHICH RESULTED IN ENGINE STOPPAGE AND THE PILOT'S CONTINUED FLIGHT WITH A KNOWN AIRCRAFT DEFICIENCY.

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