On December 23, 1993, about 0930 eastern standard time, a Mooney 23E, N31617, piloted by Mr. John Sanford, collided with the terrain during a forced landing at the Linden Airport, Linden, New Jersey. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR 91.

The airplane had just departed the airport, and at an altitude of 300 feet the airplane's engine lost total power. The pilot elected to land back on the runway with the landing gear retracted.

The FAA took fuel samples and according to FAA Inspector, Victor Roxas's written report, fuel taken from the injectors, "revealed large quantities of water." Fuel samples taken from the gascolater, main fuel lines, aft of the mechanical pump, and the left fuel tank, "...also revealed large quantities of water."

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