NTSB Identification: CEN12LA128
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 05, 2012 in Revere, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/15/2013
Aircraft: Sanderson Pitts Special SPS-1, registration: N330BL
Injuries: 1 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.

The airplane had not been flown for over 6 months prior to the accident flight. Before departure, the pilot added about 3 gallons of fuel to the existing fuel on board the airplane. The pilot did not find contamination when he drained fuel from the main fuel tank sump drain. About 20 minutes after departure, during cruise flight, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power that led the pilot to conduct a forced landing on a road. The airplane nosed over during the landing. An examination of the airplane revealed that the airplane was not equipped, nor was it required to be equipped, with a fuel sump drain(s) for the wing tank, which drained into the main fuel tank. Water contamination was present in the fuel line leading to the carburetor, but no water contamination was noted when the main fuel tank sump—the only available sump—was drained. Accordingly, water was likely in the wing tanks and fed into the main tank after it was sumped. The water then entered the fuel lines. The lack of sump drains in the wing tanks is an inadequate design because it does not allow a pilot to remove all water from the fuel system.

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

The total loss of engine power during cruise flight due to fuel contamination and the inadequate design of the fuel system.

Full narrative available

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