Accident Pitts SPS-1 Special N330BL, Thursday 5 January 2012
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Date:Thursday 5 January 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic PTS1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Pitts SPS-1 Special
Registration: N330BL
MSN: 1
Total airframe hrs:1053 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-360
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Highway 14, Lamberton Township, near Revere, MN -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Madison, SD (MDS)
Destination airport:Faribault, MN (FBL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The airplane had not been flown for over 6 months prior to the accident flight. Before departure, the pilot added about 3 gallons of fuel to the existing fuel on board the airplane. The pilot did not find contamination when he drained fuel from the main fuel tank sump drain. About 20 minutes after departure, during cruise flight, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power that led the pilot to conduct a forced landing on a road. The airplane nosed over during the landing. An examination of the airplane revealed that the airplane was not equipped, nor was it required to be equipped, with a fuel sump drain(s) for the wing tank, which drained into the main fuel tank. Water contamination was present in the fuel line leading to the carburetor, but no water contamination was noted when the main fuel tank sump—the only available sump—was drained. Accordingly, water was likely in the wing tanks and fed into the main tank after it was sumped. The water then entered the fuel lines. The lack of sump drains in the wing tanks is an inadequate design because it does not allow a pilot to remove all water from the fuel system.
Probable Cause: The total loss of engine power during cruise flight due to fuel contamination and the inadequate design of the fuel system.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN12LA128
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

06-Jan-2012 09:08 gerard57 Added
06-Jan-2012 09:59 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Source, Narrative]
09-Jan-2012 11:25 Geno Updated [Source]
24-Jan-2012 05:49 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Jan-2012 16:44 Geno Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:53 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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