NTSB Identification: ATL06LA130.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 25, 2006 in Ellijay, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: Bellanca 14-13-2, registration: N74475
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.

According to the pilot, he flew over his residence and was heading back to the airport at about 3,200 feet mean sea level when the engine lost power. He said he was able to restart it several times, but it would only run for a few seconds each time. He chose a field to do a forced landing, but did not have enough altitude to clear a tree line. The airplane collided with the trees and came to rest inverted in a private residential driveway. Examination of the engine assembly revealed the engine remained intact and attached to the engine mounts. The propeller was rotated by hand and engine continuity was established through to the accessory section. Closer examination of the engine compartment found that the airplane was equipped with an automotive starter relay, automotive battery and an automotive fuel boost pump. Additionally, automotive fuel was observed in the fuel tanks and fuel lines. The pilot confirmed that he operated the airplane using automotive fuel. Examination of the logbooks found no approvals for the use of automotive fuel. Further examination of the fuel system including disassembly of the carburetor, gascolator and boost pump found contamination of both the gascolator and boost pump. The contamination consisted of insect parts and a sandy substance similar to dirt. The sandy substance was observed caked and blocking the stand pipe in the fuel gascolator which would have prevented fuel from reaching the carburetor resulting in a loss of engine power. Examination of the engine logbooks found that the airplane had received an annual inspection on August 19, 2006, and had logged 4.4 hours since that inspection.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel contamination. Also causal was the mechanic's failure to ensure the aircraft's fuel system was free of contamination while performing an annual inspection.

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