NTSB Identification: ANC07CA072.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 01, 2007 in Anaktuvuk Pass, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N40832
Injuries: 1 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 commercial certificated pilot was landing the tundra tire-equipped, tailwheel airplane at an unimproved, off-airport site under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. According to the pilot, during the base leg of the approach for landing, the engine lost power, and the airplane collided with terrain during an emergency descent/landing. The airplane's owner reported that he observed the airplane's preflight inspection, and watched the pilot sump the fuel tanks, finding a small quantity of water in the tanks. He said the airplane departed, and upon returning, during landing, the engine lost power. While inspecting the airplane after the accident, the owner said he found water in the airplane's gascolator, carburetor, and fuel lines. He said the airplane was fueled from drums with filters, and it had rained during the preceding days. He said he suspected water contaminated fuel was the cause of the engine stoppage, and that after refueling the airplane with clean fuel, the engine started and ran without any problems. The owner said the airplane received damage to its fuselage, wings, lift-struts, and landing gear during the accident.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in a loss of engine power during approach due to water contaminated fuel.

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