NTSB Identification: MIA08CA028.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 09, 2007 in Fair Bluff, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 172E, registration: N3699S
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 pilot stated that he owned the airplane for quite some time, and that it had been "sitting" on the field since 2004. He said that he stopped taking flying lessons, and decided to sell the airplane. He said on the day of the accident, he "washed the airplane" and "sumped the fuel tanks." While sumping the tanks, he noted that about a ½ cup of water drained from the left and right fuel tanks. He decided to start the airplane and take it up for 1-touch and go. During his initial climb out the engine began to lose power. Shortly thereafter, he "pushed the throttle forward, and the engine revved up and then stopped." At that point, he made a left turn towards the field and landed in heavy brush. He said that as he exited the airplane it "caught on fire" and he was unable to extinguish it. During the telephone interview with the pilot he said that "he did not get all of the water out of tanks."

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection which failed to detect contaminated fuel, and subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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