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N4216V accident description

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Crash location 38.970000°N, 75.866389°W
Nearest city Ridgely, MD
38.947891°N, 75.884381°W
1.8 miles away
Tail number N4216V
Accident date 08 Oct 2013
Aircraft type Cessna 170
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 8, 2013, about 1030 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 170, N4216V, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after it experienced a total loss of engine power while on approach to Ridgely Airpark (RJD), Ridgely, Maryland. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane had not been flown for about 8 months prior to the accident. On the morning of the accident flight, the pilot/owner added 100-low-lead aviation gasoline to the airplane's fuel tanks, which also contained automotive gasoline that was added 6 to 8 months prior, and brought the total fuel on board to 18 gallons. During his preflight inspection, the pilot noted water in the fuel while sumping the fuel tanks. The pilot subsequently departed RJD without incident and intended to practice landings at the airport. While flying on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 30, a 3,214-foot-long, asphalt runway, the airplane experienced a sudden, total loss of engine power. The pilot was not able to restart the engine or land on the runway, and performed a forced landing to a soybean field. During the landing, the airplane struck a ditch and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

In a follow-up statement, the pilot reported that he found water in the airplane's fuel system on the day prior to the accident, and that fuel samples taken prior to the flight were absent of contamination.

The four-seat, high-wing, conventional gear airplane was manufactured 1948, and was equipped with a Continental Motors C145-2, 145-horsepower engine.

The accident occurred during the United States Federal Government shutdown, which took place from October 1-16, 2013. Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector was performed on November 26, 2013. At that time, the engine and wings had been removed from the fuselage and the inspector was not able to inspect the airplane's fuel system. Examination of the engine did not reveal evidence of any catastrophic engine malfunctions. The inspector also noted that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed during January 2011. The airplane had been operated for about 6 hours since the annual inspection. At the time of the accident, the engine had been operated for 3,223 hours since new, and 434 hours since it was overhauled.

The pilot reported 3,660 hours of total flight experience, which included about 1,220 hours in single-engine airplanes; of which 44 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

A weather observation taken at 1053, at an airport that was located about 15 miles northeast of the accident site included winds from 30 degrees at knots, a temperature of 17 degrees Celsius (C), and a dew point of 9 degrees C. Review of an FAA carburetor icing envelope placed the reported temperature and dew point in the "serious icing (glide power)" area of the chart.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined based on the available evidence.

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