ATL04CA179
ATL04CA179

On September 11, 2004, at 0943 eastern daylight time, N35FD, a Cessna 152, registered to and operated by a private pilot, collided with trees 1/4 mile beyond the departure end of runway 1 following a loss of engine power at Inverness Airport, Inverness, Florida. The local flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated at Inverness Airport, Inverness, Florida on September 11, 2004, at 0941 edt.

According to the pilot, he thoroughly preflighted his airplane. He stated that he measured the fuel in each fuel tank with a marked stick and determined that "7.75 gallons of usable fuel" was onboard. He stated that he checked the fuel from each wing fuel tank sump as well from the fuel strainer drain under the fuselage, and did not detect any water or contaminants. He stated that he performed a satisfactory run-up and a "normal take-off." The pilot stated that at approximately 300 feet above the ground, the engine lost partial power. He stated that he considered turning the airplane back toward the airport, but elected to continue straight and land on the tops of some tall trees. The airplane subsequently fell to the ground.

Examination of the wreckage site revealed that the airplane came to rest nose down on the right wing 1/4 mile beyond and 500 feet to the right of the departure end of runway 1. Examination of the wreckage revealed that that the tops of both wings were buckled and the left wing was displaced aft. The empennage was dented and bent. Post-accident examination of the fuel system revealed that six ounces of water was recovered from the carburetor fuel inlet line.

According to the Cessna 152 Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), the maximum fuel capacity is 26 gallons. It states, "the fuel tanks should be filled after each flight to prevent condensation." The weather reporting station at Ocala, Florida, 22 nautical miles northeast of Inverness, Florida, reported the temperature-dew point spread on September 11, 2004 at 0853 to be 26-24 degrees Celsius and at 0943 to be 28-24 degrees Celsius. The pilot further stated that his airplane had been tied down outside without a cover and had not been flown for over thirty days.

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