NTSB Identification: ERA12LA186
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 17, 2012 in Jasper, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 150J, registration: N60276
Injuries: 2 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 pilot and the flight instructor reported that they conducted an extensive preflight inspection and filled the fuel tanks with fuel prior to departure for the pilot’s biennial flight review in the newly purchased airplane. They further reported that they sumped the fuel tanks before and after the refueling and noted no water or contamination. The takeoff was uneventful, and they remained in the traffic pattern to practice takeoffs and landings. While on final approach for the first landing, the pilot added power, and the engine subsequently sputtered and lost power. The flight instructor completed a forced landing to a field, and, during the landing roll, the airplane impacted a truck. Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed large amounts of water in the fuel strainer bowl and carburetor bowl. Additionally, corrosion was observed inside the fuel tanks and the fuel strainer bowl, and the fuel cap gaskets appeared stiff and cracked. The airplane’s most recent annual inspection was completed about 6 months before the accident. The airplane had been stored outside while it was for sale, and it had only accumulated 4 hours of flight time in the previous 2 years and had not flown at all in the 3 months preceding the accident. Given the amount of water in the carburetor bowl and fuel strainer bowl, the poor condition of the fuel cap gaskets, and the presence of corrosion in the fuel tanks and fuel strainer bowl, it is likely that water had entered the fuel system during the time the airplane was stored outside. Further, it is unlikely that the pilots conducted a thorough preflight inspection, otherwise the water would have been detected.

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

The pilots' inadequate preflight inspection that failed to detect water-contaminated fuel, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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