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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ANC14CA014
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 04, 2014 in Nome, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA 170 - B, registration: N8177A
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

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.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to adequately remove water-contaminated fuel during the preflight inspection, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.