NTSB Identification: ANC04LA057.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 25, 2004 in Anchorage, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 185E, registration: N70233
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 private pilot/owner and pilot-rated passenger were departing an airport in an amphibian-float equipped airplane for the pilot's first flight in the newly-purchased airplane. The pilot reported that during the takeoff and initial climb, the engine appeared to be producing full power, but that the airplane would not climb above 400 feet above the ground. The pilot was unable to maintain altitude, and he headed for a city street for an emergency landing. The airplane subsequently collided with a power line and an unoccupied residence, and came to rest inverted in the residence's driveway. Subsequent inspection of the airplane's fuel system disclosed significant contamination and resultant partial blockage of the fuel injection fuel controller screen, partial blockage of the fuel injection distributor screen, and rust and water in the fuel injector manifold and engine-driven fuel pump. Prior to an engine test run, the above items were cleaned, and a pair of excessively worn spark plugs replaced. The engine subsequently started and ran at various power settings, including a maximum of 2,500 rpm with a club test propeller, without any observed mechanical anomalies. The airplane's annual inspection was due six days after the accident flight, and the pilot/owner indicated that he had wanted to have the inspection accomplished prior to the accident flight, but that the aviation maintenance shop could not schedule it in time. The pilot noted that a prepurchase inspection of the airplane was not performed. A review of the maintenance logs disclosed that the airplane had accrued about 58 service hours in the previous 2.5 years. Federal Air Regulation section 91.7 states that the pilot in command is the person responsible for determining that the aircraft is in an airworthy condition prior to operation.

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

The pilot/owner's failure to ensure that the airplane was in an airworthy condition prior to flight, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power and subsequent in-flight collision with a residence during an emergency landing after takeoff. Factors associated with the accident are a contaminated fuel pump, a flow-restricted fuel controller, a flow-restricted distributor valve, worn spark plugs, and inadequate servicing/maintenance of the airplane by other maintenance personnel.

Full narrative available

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