NTSB Identification: ANC07FA037.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 04, 2007 in Wasilla, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 170, registration: N4217V
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot departed from a private airstrip on a personal flight. The airplane climbed to about 200 feet, and then lost power. The pilot made a right turn toward the north, and descended toward a residential area adjacent to the airport. The propeller was not turning just prior to the crash. The airplane clipped the top of a large tree, about 300 feet from a residence, and collided with several additional trees before impacting the ground. The fuel tanks were breached during the accident, but the left inboard tank, when examined at the scene, was nearly full of blue colored fuel. The right inboard tank contained a small amount of fuel. When tested with water detection paste, each tank contained small amounts of water. Fuel was present in the gascolator, and was obtained by opening the forward drain fitting. The aft drain fitting could not be opened due to rust and corrosion. The gascolator also contained sediment, a small amount of water droplets, corrosion around the base of the gascolator screen and the gascolator base, and small globs of a white, opaque, silicone-like grease material. Small globs of the grease material were also found in the carburetor inlet screen, and in the check valve between the gascolator and the carburetor. The interior of the fittings of fuel supply line from the gascolator and the carburetor had some corrosion. The engine was removed from the airframe and placed on an engine test stand. A replacement carburetor was installed, along with a wooden "club" test propeller. The engine was started and produced full rated rpm. The accident carburetor was placed on a test stand and it held normal fuel pressure without leaking. The carburetor bowl contained dirt, sediment, and small amounts of water. The accelerator pump functioned properly. The floats operated normally without binding. The airplane had been flown about 22 hours in the previous 2 years.

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

A total loss of engine power during takeoff initial climb due to fuel contamination, and the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection.

Full narrative available

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