NTSB Identification: LAX08CA094.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 20, 2008 in Riverside, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415-D, registration: N3942H
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 fueled the airplane, sumped the wing tanks, and departed. The engine lost power at the end of the runway on climb out. He made a forced landing on the grass infield of the airport. The nose wheel went into a gopher hole, and the airplane nosed forward. Post crash examination established that the firewall sustained damage. The pilot reported that he also found water in the gascolator, and that the water most likely got into the fuel system during recent rains. He opined that a more thorough preflight could have prevented the accident.

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

Water contamination of the fuel system due to the pilot's inadequate preflight and failure to adequately drain the water from the fuel system.

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