NTSB Identification: ANC07LA077.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 08, 2007 in Bethel, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 185, registration: N720
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 commercial pilot was repositioning a float-equipped airplane to its mooring site after a 100-hour inspection. About 2 minutes after departure, the pilot reported a loss of engine power, and selected a small pond as a forced landing site. After touchdown on the pond, the airplane collided with the shoreline and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing, right wing lift strut, empennage, and fuselage. A postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed that the fuel selector handle had been inadvertently reinstalled incorrectly during the recent 100-hour inspection, and when the fuel tank selector handle was placed in the "Both" position, it actually turned the fuel supply off. Investigation revealed slight wear to the keyed cog of the fuel selector valve handle (female receptacle), as well as slight wear to the fuel selector valve connection point (male receptacle). The combined wear patterns of both the fuel selector valve handle and the fuel selector valve connection point allowed the installation of the fuel selector handle 180 degrees from its correct position. When a new fuel selector valve handle was fitted onto the valve connection point, it could only be installed in the correct position, and not 180 degrees from the correct installation.

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

The improper [reversed] installation of the fuel selector handle by maintenance personnel.

Full narrative available

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