NTSB Identification: IAD00LA008.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 28, 1999 in OLEAN, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N7407J
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 reported that after takeoff and initial climb, the engine 'began to spit and sputter', lost rpm, and would only produced partial power. The pilot performed a forced landing and the airplane collided with a pole, a guardrail, and a roadway. Examination of the engine and its accessories revealed no anomalies. Examination of the auxiliary fuel pump revealed ice in the filter area. The pump was thawed to room temperature and approximately 1 ounce of water was drained. Removal of the engine-driven fuel pump revealed water in the inlet and outlet sections. Disassembly of the pump revealed water in the pump diaphragm area. Records revealed the airplane was refueled the night before the accident flight and both the pilot and the passenger reported the preflight inspection was completed in approximately 5 minutes prior to takeoff.

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

the loss of engine power from water-contaminated fuel due to the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection.

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