NTSB Identification: LAX06CA079.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 04, 2006 in Rancho Murieta, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N49391
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane nosed over during a forced landing in a muddy field after a loss of engine power. The instructor stated they were completing a flight review for the pilot at the time of the accident. After the airplane was fueled the instructor sumped the tanks and found water in the right wing. The pilot told the instructor that during the preflight he also found water in the sump. The instructor sumped the tanks 3 or 4 times until there was no water in the samples. Both pilots were then confident there was no more water in the fuel tanks and they proceeded with the flight. After a simulated engine failure the pilot applied full throttle to go around. About 400 feet mean sea level on climb out, the engine lost power and the instructor took the controls to make an emergency landing. A soft muddy field was the only place available that the airplane could glide to and the instructor performed a soft field landing, but the nose gear dug into the ground and the airplane nosed over. An examination of the engine and fuel system was conducted after the accident. Water was found in the gascolator and carburetor bowl. A fuel supply was plumbed into the wing root fuel line and the engine was started on the first attempt. The engine was stopped and started again with no anomalies found.

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

fuel contamination (water) due to the inadequate preflight by both pilots, which failed to detect the residual water contamination in fuel system. A factor in the accident was the soft terrain condition at the forced landing site.

Full narrative available

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