NTSB Identification: ERA11CA020
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 13, 2010 in New Smyrna Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2011
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E, registration: N5743Q
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.

According to the pilot, the airplane was not operated for an extended period of time due to a propeller strike. The owner of the airplane received a ferry permit to have the airplane flown to another airport for repairs. Before the flight, the pilot completed a preflight inspection and engine run-up, during which time he did notice any anomalies. During the initial climb, about 300 feet above ground level, the engine lost power and the pilot attempted to return to the airport. The airplane impacted the ground on the east side of the runway resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage. A postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the fuel was contaminated with water. The right and left tanks were drained and about 1 pint of water was captured from each fuel tank. In a telephone interview with the pilot, he recalled that during the preflight inspection, he did sump the fuel tanks, but did not notice any water in them.

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

The pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in the loss of engine power due to water contaminated fuel.

Full narrative available

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