NTSB Identification: CEN12CA469
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 22, 2012 in Broadhead, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: PURTEE KEVIN M PIETENPOL AIRCAMPER, registration: N899KP
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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.

The pilot's wife stated that the airplane's engine was running rough prior to the flight and that her husband had drained a significant amount of water from the fuel drain. Once he thought the water was drained from the system, he departed. A witness saw the airplane climb to treetop level and enter a left turn as if the pilot was trying to turn back to the airport when the engine lost power. The airplane then made a hard left turn and descended straight down to the ground, resulting in substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, and both wings. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed water in the fuel line downstream of the fuel valve.

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

The pilot's failure to adequately remove water-contaminated fuel during the preflight inspection, which resulted in a total loss of engine power during takeoff, and his decision to initiate a turn back to the runway with insufficient airspeed, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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