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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 71900
Last updated: 25 April 2019
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Date:25-JAN-2010
Time:15:21
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRUZ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
CZAW SportCruiser
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N243SC
C/n / msn: 08SC087
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Near Washington Street and Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Palm Springs, CA (PSP)
Destination airport:Palm Springs, CA (PSP)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The pilot conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane, which included taking samples of fuel from the airframe fuel sump drains. He noted no evidence of water within these fuel samples. While en route to his destination, the pilot decided to switch the fuel supply to come from the left tank rather than the right, in an effort to remedy a slight fuel imbalance. Shortly after changing the tank selection, the engine experienced a total loss of power. Despite multiple attempts, the pilot was unable to restart the engine and initiated a forced landing to a nearby field. The pilot stated that, due to a headwind, he was unable to reach his original intended landing area and decided on a second field, closer to his position. As the airplane approached the field, it stalled and landed hard.

During a postaccident examination of the airframe, investigators applied compressed air to both the left and right wing fuel inlet lines and observed a small amount of liquid originating from the engine inlet fuel line at the firewall. The liquid was tested using water finding paste with positive results. No additional anomalies were noted with the airframe that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the engine revealed that the engine-driven fuel pump contained residual liquid. The liquid was tested using water finding paste with positive results. In addition, the carburetors were examined and disassembled; a white paste-like and flaky substance was noted within both carburetor float bowls. One carburetor float bowl contained about two ounces of a milky white liquid, which tested positive for water. The engine was installed on an engine test stand and run at various rpm settings before being shut off using the mixture control lever. No additional anomalies were noted with the engine that would have precluded normal operation and production of power.

Probable Cause: A loss of engine power during cruise flight due to water contamination in the fuel.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20100126X21214&key=1
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20100125/NEWS01/100125027/1006/news01
[LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.kpsplocal2.com/Content/Headlines/story/Plane-Crash-in-Indian-Wells/w0rXWhc8i0eprRJOqwQ80Q.cspx]
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N243SC


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Jan-2010 18:50 RobertMB Added
26-Jan-2010 17:22 slowkid Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 15:20 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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