NTSB Identification: ATL06CA082.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 20, 2006 in Crossville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415C, registration: N99083
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 pilot stated that the engine lost power while on final approach for landing. An engine restart was unsuccessful and a forced landing was made straight ahead. The airplane collided with trees and the ground. Review of airplane log books revealed the airplane had flown for 1.1 hours since the last annual inspection. Examination of the airplane by the FAA revealed the left and right fuel tanks contained fuel. The header fuel tank was dry and exhibited signs of brown corrosion attributed to tank sealant. The gascolator was half fuel of fuel and was contaminated. The contamination was brown in color and appeared to be fuel tank sealant. The gascolator was disassembled. The brown substance dried and turned into a very sticky substance. The carburetor was broken off the intake manifold and the fuel line to the carburetor was broken off. The carburetor was disassembled and the fuel screen was clean with no evidence of fuel. The engine driven fuel pump was examined and no anomalies were noted. The fuel lines were examined and no blockage was present. The mechanic who performed the annual inspection stated that during the annual inspection that he noticed the gascolator was about three fourths full of a dark brown liquid that was clearly separate from the fuel which was on top of the liquid. The check list used by the mechanic indicates the gascolator screen and bowl were checked for safety. The FAA concluded the contamination in the fuel system reduced the fuel flow to the carburetor resulting in fuel starvation.



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

Inadequate maintenance inspection resulting in fuel system contamination going undetected resulting in a total loss of engine power while on final approach to land.

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