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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17LA241
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 24, 2017 in Fulton, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N6474B
Injuries: 2 Minor, 3 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 private pilot and two passengers were conducting a local sightseeing flight when the engine “sputtered ever so slightly” and then regained power. Three to 5 seconds later, engine power dropped to about 700 rpm. The pilot checked the engine controls in an attempt to regain engine power; when power was not restored, he initiated a forced landing to a field. During the forced landing, the airplane landed about 3/4 down the length of a field and impacted adjacent trees.
During an initial examination, about 1 ounce of water was found in the gascolator. Continuity was established from the cockpit engine controls to the respective engine components. Fuel was found in the carburetor bowl and in the wing fuel tanks. A follow-up engine examination and functional test run did not produce any anomalies that would have prevented normal operation and production of rated horsepower. It is likely the water contamination found in the gascolator resulted in the partial loss of engine power.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The partial loss of engine power due to water contamination in the fuel system.