NTSB Identification: ERA10LA438
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 23, 2010 in Douglas, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/11/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: N8734Y
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 airplane had been parked outside and not flown for about 1 year, except for a test flight conducted about 1 month prior to the accident. During a preflight inspection, the pilot observed water in the airplane's main fuel tanks, and debris in the right wingtip fuel tank. A series of engine ground run-ups and maintenance was conducted prior to the pilot attempting a test-flight. The airplane subsequently experienced a rough running left engine during the takeoff and impacted trees. Postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed the presence of water and corrosion in the fuel distribution system. Water was observed in both of the main fuel tank strainers and the left engine fuel injector. In addition, fuel drained from the airplane by recovery personnel contained water and unidentified debris. An annual inspection was performed on the airplane about 6 weeks prior to the accident, and additional maintenance was performed, which included flushing the fuel tanks and cleaning the fuel lines to each respective flow divider after the left engine "missed" during the test flight conducted about 1 month prior. The pilot had only accumulated about 22 hours of multiengine flight experience and lacked experience in the make and model of the accident airplane.

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

A loss of engine power during takeoff due to fuel contamination. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and inadequate maintenance of the fuel system.

Full narrative available

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