NTSB Identification: NYC00LA070.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 29, 2000 in WISCASSET, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 150, registration: N7854E
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 airplane had been exposed to 3 weeks of high winds, sleet, blowing snow and sub-zero temperatures. During the preflight inspection, the pilot found the fuel tanks were half full. The wing tank drains were 'frozen stuck,' so the pilot decided not to force them. He drained about 6 ounces of fuel from the fuel strainer, and found 'no visible contaminants.' The fuel vent next to the pitot tube 'appeared to be open.' The pilot started the airplane, taxied it to the runway, and performed an engine run-up. He then back-taxied down the runway, then took off. After takeoff, about 125 feet agl, the engine lost all power, and the pilot made a forced landing. Several hours later, the left wing drain was still frozen, but there was fuel coming out of the wing vent. The pilot thought the sun had warmed the vent, which then melted ice inside, and allowed the fuel to leak out of the tank. The following morning, the pilot drained over 10 gallons of fuel into containers 'with no hesitation or water.' The pilot then drained the carburetor float bowl of about 40 cc of fuel and 10 cc of water. Preflight inspection included: 'Check fuel tank vent opening for stoppage.'

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection.

Full narrative available

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