NTSB Identification: NYC04LA176.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 24, 2004 in Somerville, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N6139J
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

As the airplane began an initial climb from the runway, the engine began to sputter. The airplane then struck a tree and impacted a field during a forced landing. During an examination of the wreckage, approximately 5 ounces of fluid were recovered from the carburetor bowl. About one-third of the fluid was consistent with water, and the remaining fluid was consistent with 100 LL aviation gasoline. Several droplets of fluid were also recovered from the fuel strainer. Some of the droplets were consistent with water. The airplane was last fueled two days prior to the accident, and remained parked outside until the accident flight. During that time, the airport experienced periods of heavy rainfall.

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

The flight instructor's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in an attempted takeoff with contaminated fuel, and a subsequent forced landing.

Full narrative available

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