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N9793B accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 43.910278°N, 123.007500°W
Nearest city Creswell, OR
43.917902°N, 123.024526°W
1.0 miles away
Tail number N9793B
Accident date 05 Mar 2003
Aircraft type Cessna 208B
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On March 5, 2003, approximately 1150 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 208B, N9793B, sustained substantial damage during a collision with trees/terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power approximately one mile south of Creswell, Oregon. The airplane was owned and operated by Wright Stuff Inc., Eugene, Oregon, and was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight in accordance with 14 CFR Part 91. The commercial pilot and his three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from Creswell at 1148, and was destined for Cottage Grove, Oregon.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he accomplished a "normal pre-flight" to include sumping fuel from the fuel filter and reservoir. No contaminants were found. The engine was started and the aircraft taxied to the run-up area where a run-up was performed to include the pre-flight checks. The pilot stated that during the climb out, at approximately 500 feet above ground level, he noted a performance loss. The pilot turned the ignition and auxiliary boost switch to on, then looked at the NG gauge and noted that it was below the green area. He took the fuel condition lever out of the idle position to the cut-off position and turned the start switch to start. He counted three seconds and then put the fuel condition lever to low idle. The engine did not regain power and the pilot initiated a forced landing to an open field. During the landing roll, the airplane collided with trees at the end of the field

According to an FAA inspector, who traveled to the accident site, the pilot reported that prior to takeoff he drained the main lower sump, but not the wing sumps, as was company policy. The pilot stated that he was told by the mechanic that "constant use of the wing sumps causes them to leak, and also causes damage to the fuel cells that is hard to repair." The pilot also reported that the airplane had been fueled a few days prior to the flight from a 55 gallon barrel by an electric pump at the company's fueling facility in Creswell. The inspector traveled to the fueling facility and checked the pump glass fuel filter cover, observing it to be half full of what appeared to be water. Two 55 gallon barrels were sitting outside in the rain.

The FAA inspector said that after turning on the Master switch he observed 350 lbs of fuel in the left tank and 150 lbs of fuel in the right tank, according to the cockpit fuel gauges. The inspector then took fuel samples from the sumps: a pint of cloudy, watery substance was drained from the left wing sump, a mixture of cloudy and clear fuel was drained from the engine fuel sump, and clear jet fuel from the right wing sump. It was noted that the red Bypass indicator was extended on the fuel filter and that the fuel selector was selected to the Both position.

The inspector also reported that there was substantial damage to both wing leading edges, and damage to the horizontal stabilizer, nose landing gear, and engine cowling.

NTSB Probable Cause

Water contamination in the fuel system which resulted in a loss of engine power during the initial climb after takeoff, and the pilot's inadequate pre-flight inspection. Trees were a factor.

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