NTSB Identification: CEN10CA211
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 20, 2010 in White Bear Lake, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/12/2010
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N87792
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 reported that he conducted a normal preflight, run-up, and takeoff. The engine stopped during the takeoff climb, about 150–200 feet above ground level. The pilot restarted the engine 3–4 times, but the engine was producing less power each time. The engine stopped and the pilot executed a forced landing to a field with trees in it. The airplane sustained substantial damage on impact with trees and terrain. Postaccident inspection of the airplane’s fuel system revealed that the fuel line between the fuel sump (strainer) and the carburetor was full of water. The inspection of the airplane revealed no other anomalies.

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

A total loss of engine power during takeoff due to fuel contamination as a result of the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection.

Full narrative available

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