NTSB Identification: DFW05LA113.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 29, 2005 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-235, registration: N4514Y
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 2,580-hour pilot reported a loss of engine power while towing a banner in cruise flight. The pilot released the banner and initiated a forced landing to a vacant school yard. During the forced landing, the main landing gear of the tailwheel-equipped airplane collided with the chain link fence installed around the school tennis court. The airplane touched down within the school yard, and came to a stop in the upright position after a ground roll of approximately 200 feet. Examination of the aircraft fuel system revealed water and solid contaminants in the gascolator and carburetor bowl, as well as an obvious "winged insect" trapped in the transparent inline fuel filter.

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

A loss of engine power due to the pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation in detecting contaminated fuel. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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