NTSB Identification: CHI01LA115.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 14, 2001 in Buffalo, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Maule MX-7-180AC, registration: N4261E
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane landed on a muddy agricultural field following a total loss of engine power during an initial climb through 300-500 feet agl. The pilot obtained 8 gallons of aviation fuel from a fixed base operator. Post accident inspection of the airplane's fuel system revealed the presence of water in the airplane's fuel lines and carburetor. The lineman who fueled the airplane reported that it was his second day on the job and he had not received training in the handling of fuel with respect to fuel contamination.

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

the water contamination of the aircraft's fuel system and the inadequate preflight performed by the pilot. The muddy terrain was a contributing factor.

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