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 private pilot was conducting a local flight. He reported that, during the flight, the engine started to run roughly. He decided to return to the airport for a precautionary landing. About 4 miles from the airport and while lined up for landing, the pilot increased the engine throttle with no response; the airplane lost total power. He decided to land the airplane on a roadway about 1 mile from the airport. After landing on the roadway and coming to a complete stop, the pilot restarted the engine and attempted to taxi off the roadway. While he was taxiing the airplane, it struck three roadway signs and a fence, which resulted in structural damage to the left wing.
After the airplane was recovered, small amounts of water were present in the fuel from both wing sumps and the gascolator. The engine was started, ran normally, and both magnetos checked within normal limits. The loss of engine power could have resulted from water in the fuel but the definitive reason could not be determined.
Although the pilot landed the airplane successfully on the roadway after having engine power problems, his decision to taxi the airplane from the roadway and his failure to avoid the roadway signs and fence resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.