NTSB Identification: NYC05LA060.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 14, 2005 in Millersburg, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300, registration: C-FLPB
Injuries: 1 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 pilot flew to his destination airport and had the airplane completely refueled for the return flight; however, prior to his departure, he elected to drive home because of weather. The airplane was parked outside for approximately 10 days until the pilot returned. Prior to his departure for the return flight, the pilot preflighted the airplane to include draining all four fuel tank sumps, and did not identify any contaminates in the fuel. He then started the engine, completed the runup checks, and departed. After approximately 20 to 25 minutes, and while level at 7,500 feet msl, the engine lost all power. The pilot changed tanks, and selected each magneto independently, but was unsuccessful at restarting the engine. The pilot then attempted to perform a forced landing to an airport, but struck trees short of the runway. A post-accident examination of the engine did not reveal any mechanical deficiencies; however, an examination of the airframe revealed that all four fuel caps seals had varying degrees of deterioration, and the left main fuel cap was loose. Examination of the fuel system revealed 1/4 cup of water in the main fuel strainer, and only a trace of fuel between the strainer and the individual cylinders.

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. A factor in the accident was the deteriorated fuel cap seals.

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