Investigation Finds Plane Crashed on I-10 Due to Water in Fuel Tanks

Posted on July 11, 2011

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded an investigation into a twin-engine plane that crash landed on Interstate 10 last August and found that the fuel was contaminated with water. The plane took off from the Westside’s Herlong Airport heading to Craig Airport in Jacksonville on August 31. A private pilot and certified flight instructor were onboard when one engine sputtered and lost power, then the other. The flight instructor took over the flight between 1,500 to 2,000 feet above sea level and had to safely maneuver a forced landing on the interstate. When the right tire left the pavement, the airplane veered into some trees and a fence. Fortunately, both men walked away from the plane.

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector found no defects with the plane, about two cups of water was drained along with a 1.5 gallon fuel sample. Channel 4 reports no one has any idea how the water got into the fuel. The plane was last flown August 11. Prior to that it had been purchased in June 2010 from the Delaware State Police Department and had not been flown for a year. The pilot picked up the airplane on July 23 after it had received an annual inspection and maintenance and he flew it to West Jacksonville. Before the flight on August 31, the pilot also reportedly inspected the plane pre-flight which included checking fuel in the tanks for water contamination, according to the NTSB.

A preflight inspection is always supposed to include a fuel check so there are many unanswered questions about who is at-fault for this airplane crash. If the plane had sat for a year, the fuel should have been drained and examined for water and the plane should have undergone a thorough inspection to make sure it was airworthy. Some pilots on the Channel 4 website suggest that someone may have left off the fuel cap and water got into the tank that way. The at-fault party may be held responsible for the damage to this twin-engine plane and if it was the owner, he may have trouble collecting on insurance.

If you or a loved one have been in an aviation accident, the aviation accident lawyers in Jacksonville at Farah & Farah can advise you on the legal options available to you. To learn how we can provide the legal representation you need, call our law offices today.


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