On April 11, 1997, about 1015 central daylight time, a Cessna 185D, N285BG, registered to a private owner, crashed during a forced landing following a loss of engine power in the vicinity of Wetumpka, Alabama, while on a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The amphibious airplane received substantial damage and the private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The flight originated from Ware Island, Alabama, about 45 minutes before the accident.

The pilot stated to the FAA that when he lowered the landing gear, he received no right side indication, landed, felt the right side of aircraft dip, then applied power and initiated a go-around. On the climb-out, at about 1,000 to 1,500 feet, the engine lost power. The fuel selector was moved to the "both" position and the boost pumps were positioned on high. The engine responded a short time and lost partial power again. He continued to regain full power and was attempting a forced landing to a lake, but collided with a ditch at the base of a dam.

Examination of the fuel system revealed about 1 inch of fuel in the left fuel tank. About 3 inches of fuel was collected in a 55-gallon drum from the left fuel vent and about 3 inches of fuel was measured in the right fuel tank. An engine run was conducted on April 18, 1997. The engine started and reached full power without hesitation or other abnormalities.

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