NTSB Identification: ERA11LA142
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 13, 2011 in Dawsonville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/01/2011
Aircraft: KENNEDY MICHAEL M LANCAIR 320, registration: N351E
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After about 25 minutes of flight, the pilot began transferring fuel from the left and right main fuel tanks to the 10-gallon header tank which fed the engine. Ten minutes after completing that operation, the engine began to lose power. The pilot activated the fuel boost pumps and adjusted the throttle and mixture controls. He stated that the engine surged as though it was running out of fuel. When engine power could not be restored, the pilot performed a forced landing to the median of a divided highway, and a hard landing resulted in substantial damage to the left wing tip, rudder, and propeller. A postacciddent examination of the fuel filter revealed traces of sediment and water, while the gascolator bowl contained water and debris. The filter and bowl were then reinstalled and an engine run was completed using the airplane’s own battery and fuel system. The engine started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran continuously without interruption.

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

The pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection and failure to detect water-contaminated fuel, which resulted in a loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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