CEN13LA354
CEN13LA354

On June 17, 2013, at 1440 central daylight time, a Cessna model 152 airplane, N49108, was substantially damaged during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from Dimmit County Airport (KCZT), Carrizo Springs, Texas. The commercial pilot and his passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Alpha Tango Flying Service, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the positioning flight that was en route to San Antonio International Airport (KSAT), San Antonio, Texas.

The pilot reported that the purpose of the accident flight was to reposition the airplane from KCZT to KSAT. After completing a preflight inspection, he had the airplane fueled with 21 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation fuel by the airport’s fixed-base operator fuel truck. After being refueled, the pilot completed another preflight inspection that included straining the fuel and rechecking the engine oil. The engine started without hesitation and after a few minutes the pilot taxied the airplane to runway 13 (5,003 feet by 75 feet, asphalt). The pilot reported that there were no anomalies with engine operation during his before takeoff engine run-up or during takeoff; however, during initial climb, about 300 feet above the ground, the engine experienced a loss of engine power. The pilot was unable to restore engine power as he maneuvered the airplane toward 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 of the airplane’s fuel system was completed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspector with the assistance of several aviation mechanics. The fuel selector was found in the OFF position; however, the pilot had indicated that he turned the fuel selector OFF during the forced landing. Several fuel samples were collected by draining fuel through the gascolator outflow line. A visual inspection of these fuel samples revealed a significant amount of water contamination. The airport’s fuel service truck was checked for water contamination; however, no water contamination was present in samples obtained after the accident. The FAA inspector reported that his engine examination did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have prevented normal operation.

The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at Cotulla-La Salle County Airport (KCOT), Cotulla, Texas, about 37 miles east of the accident site. At 1453, the KCOT automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 170 degrees true at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 36 degrees Celsius, dew point 22 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 29.91 inches of mercury. A review of available rainfall data, obtained from several weather stations located near KCZT, indicated that 5-7 inches of rain had fallen since May 20, 2013, the last time the accident airplane had flown.

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