NTSB Identification: CHI91DEM08.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45166.
Accident occurred Sunday, August 18, 1991 in SPARTA, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/1992
Aircraft: FISHER FT101, registration: N52KP
Injuries: 1 Serious.

THE SINGLE ENGINE HOMEBUILT AIRPLANE SAT OUTSIDE DURING A HEAVY RAINSTORM ACCORDING TO A WITNESS. THE STORM PASSED BY AND THE PILOT DECIDED TO FLY THE AIRPLANE. A WITNESS STATED HE OBSERVED THE PILOT SIT IN THE AIRPLANE RUNNING THE ENGINE FOR APPROXIMATELY FIVE MINUTES BEFORE TAKEOFF. DURING CLIMBOUT THE AIRPLANE'S ENGINE CEASED OPERATING AT APPROXIMATELY 150 TO 200 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. STATEMENT FROM WITNESSES CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER. TWO STATED THE ENGINE GRADUALLY LOST POWER, ONE STATED THE ENGINE STOPPED AFTER SOUNDING LIKE IT HAD A FOULED SPARKPLUG. THE PILOT STATED THE ENGINE FAILURE WAS DUE TO WATER IN THE FUEL TANK. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED A TURN BACK TO THE AIRPORT DUE TO OBSTRUCTIONS WHICH WERE IN HIS EMERGENCY LANDING DESCENT PATH. THE AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED TO STALL AND SPIN UNTIL COLLIDING WITH THE GROUND. AN ON SCENE INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT NO FUEL EXISTED IN THE AIRPLANES FUEL TANK OR CARBURETOR FLOAT BOWL.

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

AN IMPROPER PREFLIGHT INSPECTION BY THE PILOT. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THIS ACCIDENT WERE INADEQUATE ALTITUDE FOR THE TURN BACK TOWARDS THE RUNWAY AND THE STALL/SPIN ENCOUNTERED BY THE PILOT.

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