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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: SEA03LA043
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 05, 2003 in Creswell, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 208B, registration: N9793B
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that prior to takeoff he drained the main lower sump, but not the wing sumps, as was company policy. The pilot stated that he was told by the mechanic that "constant use of the wing sumps causes them to leak, and also causes damage to the fuel cells that is hard to repair." The pilot also reported that the airplane had been fueled a few days prior to the flight from a 55 gallon barrel by an electric pump at the company's fueling facility. Shortly after takeoff, the engine lost power. The pilot initiated a forced landing to an open field. During the landing roll the airplane collided with trees. Post accident inspection of the aircraft found that fuel samples taken from the sumps produced a pint of cloudy, watery substance that was drained from the left wing sump, a mixture of cloudy and clear fuel was drained from the engine fuel sump, and clear jet fuel from the right wing sump. The inspector traveled to the fueling facility and checked the pump glass fuel filter cover, observing it to be half full of what appeared to be water. Two 55 gallon barrels were sitting outside in the rain.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • Water contamination in the fuel system which resulted in a loss of engine power during the initial climb after takeoff, and the pilot's inadequate pre-flight inspection. Trees were a factor.