NTSB Identification: ERA12LA440
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 11, 2012 in Panama City, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 170, registration: N2561V
Injuries: 1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On July 11, 2012, at 1053 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 170, N2561V, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after takeoff from Sandy Creek Airpark (75FL), Panama City, Florida. The certificated airline transport pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed 75FL at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to a witness acquainted with the pilot, the airplane was departing on the first leg of a cross-country flight to Alaska. The witness helped the pilot/owner prep the airplane for flight, as it had not flown for several months. Fuel samples were taken from each fuel tank sump, and several successive samples contained water.
In a telephone interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot/owner said he found water in several fuel samples, and ultimately drained the right fuel tank completely. He further stated that he serviced the right tank with 10 gallons of automotive gasoline to match the 10 gallons contained in the left tank.
After completion of a 15-minute engine run to ensure that there was "no water in the carburetor," the pilot departed, and experienced a loss of engine power immediately after takeoff. He turned the airplane to return to the airport, but landed in a retention pond short of the runway.
Four 5-gallon cans and one 2-gallon can full of automotive fuel were found floating in the pond along with one empty 5-gallon can. After recovery of the airplane, two gallons of fuel, one from each main tank, were drained from the airplane.
Inspection of the airplane at the scene revealed no mechanical anomalies, and the engine was retained for further examination.
The airline transport pilot held multiple pilot certificates and ratings. His most recent FAA second class medical certificate was issued in September 2010.
According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1948, and the tachometer displayed 1,540.9 aircraft hours. The maintenance records were not immediately available for review.
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