NTSB Identification: ANC01FA102.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 09, 2001 in TYONEK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 185, registration: N4849C
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot departed his residence at a private lake in a float-equipped airplane to transport passengers to another remote lake. Prior to his departure, the airplane was fueled by the pilot from a 1,000 gallon metal tank located on his lake property. During the fueling process, the metal tank's fuel supply was exhausted, but sufficient fuel was obtained to fill one fuel tank, and nearly fill the other. Before departing for the day, the pilot purchased 15 gallons of additional fuel at a nearby airport and placed 5 gallons of the additional fuel in the airplane fuel tanks. He then conducted two round-trip flights to the remote lake. After a day of fishing at the remote lake, the pilot flew to his residence, and added 10 gallons of additional fuel to the airplane. Two empty five gallon fuel cans were found at his dock. He then departed on the accident flight to pick up additional passengers from the remote lake, but he did not arrive at his destination. The airplane was located inverted in an area of tall trees. The airplane flaps were extended full down. The engine did not appear to be running at the time of the accident. The airplane's fuel totalizer indicated 29 gallons of fuel. A postaccident examination of the engine found no mechanical malfunctions. Minor wrinkles were found along the bottom of each of the airplane's fuel bladders. The gascolator contained about a teaspoon of water and particulate contamination. The header tank had about an ounce of fuel and water. The fuel pump contained no fuel. Evidence of tan-colored particulate contamination was found in a fluid sample obtained from the fuel filter housing, attached to the pilot's fuel tank hand pump on his fuel tank.

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

A loss of engine power during cruise flight due to fuel system contamination with water, and the pilot's inadequate preflight procedures. A factor in the accident was unsuitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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