NTSB Identification: CEN13LA354
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 17, 2013 in Carrizo Springs, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/02/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N49108
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.

The pilot reported that after an initial preflight of the airplane, he had the fuel tanks topped off with aviation fuel. He then completed another preflight inspection that included straining the fuel and rechecking the engine oil. The pilot stated that there were no anomalies with engine operation during his before-takeoff engine run-up or during takeoff; however, during the initial climb, when the airplane was about 300 feet above the ground, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot was unable to restore engine power as he maneuvered the airplane to a nearby dirt road for an off-airport landing. The airplane impacted terrain after the right wing collided with tree branches during the forced landing.

A postaccident examination revealed a significant amount of water contamination in the airplane’s fuel system. The airport’s fuel service truck was checked for water contamination; however, no water contamination was present in samples obtained after the accident. A review of available rainfall data indicated that 5 to 7 inches of rain had fallen since the airplane had last been flown. The loss of engine power was likely due to water contamination of the fuel system. The amount of water contamination that was detected in the fuel system after the accident should have been identified by the pilot during a normal preflight inspection. The engine examination did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have prevented normal operation.

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

The pilot’s failure to identify the water contamination of the fuel system during his preflight inspection, which resulted in a total loss of engine power during the airplane’s initial climb.

Full narrative available

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