NTSB Identification: IAD05LA029.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 01, 2005 in Poughkeepsie, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172L, registration: N7180Q
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.

After takeoff, the pilot completed one traffic pattern, performed a touch-and-go landing, and was on climb-out when the engine stopped producing power about 200 feet above ground level. As the pilot maneuvered it back towards the airport, the airplane struck a tree and a fence on the airport perimeter. Post-crash examination revealed that the gascolator drain valve would not actuate, and would not drain fuel. The bowl was removed, and it contained water, rust, and debris, with a thin film of fuel on top. The carburetor was drained, and the mixture collected was about 50 percent fuel, and 50 percent water. The contents of the left fuel tank could not be examined due to impact damage and the disposition of the wreckage. Fuel drained from the right tank contained water. After the airplane was recovered, a can of aviation gasoline was plumbed into the airplane's fuel system. The engine started immediately, and ran continuously without interruption.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel contamination.

Full narrative available

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