NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
According to the pilot, the airplane was pulled out of the hangar and preflighted for a maintenance test flight, following an extensive annual inspection. Approximately 10 minutes after departure the airplane lost all engine power, and made an emergency landing on the sea ice. During the emergency landing the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. While inspecting the airplane after the accident, the pilot said he found water in the airplane's gascolator. A postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector revealed water in the fuel system, including the carburetor bowl. The pilot indicated that other than the water in the fuel, there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.
In the pilot's written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board he noted that the accident might have been avoided if the airplane had been placed on level ground after it was pulled from the hangar, thereby allowing the water to be drained from the fuel system.