On January 2, 1999, about 0930 Eastern Standard Time, a Beech C24R, N1857G, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Farmingdale, New York. The certificated private pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated from Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot's written statement, he had a complete memory loss of the entire day of the accident. He wrote "[The] engine quit due to ice and water in [the] fuel."

The passenger reported that he observed the pilot perform a preflight examination of the airplane, which included removing the fuel caps and looking into the tanks. He did not observe the pilot drain fuel from either the fuel tanks or the main airplane sump drain. After engine start, the pilot taxied to the run-up area, and reported that the engine was running rough. He also reported that he was going to taxi back to the ramp and speak with the owner of the airplane about the engine condition. Upon reaching the ramp, the pilot and passenger remained in the airplane with the engine running, while they visually scanned the area for the owner. Unable to see the owner, the pilot stated the engine was running normal now, and initiated taxi to the run-up area again. Upon completion of a successful run-up, the pilot radioed the tower and requested permission to takeoff. The airplane departed on Runway 32.

After departure, on a right downwind, the passenger noticed that the engine, "began to stall." The passenger further reported that the engine lost all power, but the pilot was able to restart it. The pilot advised the tower of the power loss. The engine lost power again, and the pilot was unable to restart the engine. The pilot established a glide for Runway 32. The aircraft impacted the ground in a cemetery, approximately 1,800 feet short of Runway 32. The right aileron and nose gear were separated from the airplane. Both wings were partially separated from the airplane.

The pilot was interviewed by an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Inspector reported that the pilot had struck his head during the forced landing and had no recollection of the flight. The Inspector's examination of the airplane revealed the main fuel bowl of the fuel strainer was contaminated with water, dirt, rust, paint, and sand. In addition, rust was found on the inlet screen to the fuel injection unit and on the fittings to the fuel injection manifold. The Inspector stated that there were no reports of fuel contamination to the other airplanes based at Republic Airport.

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