After departure, at an altitude of approximately 500 feet agl, the 2,100-hour pilot reported the engine “lost most of its power output.” The pilot stated he applied carburetor heat and did not notice improvement. The pilot banked the airplane slightly to the right to avoid an approaching tree line and initiated an emergency landing to an open grass field.
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.
The certificated commercial pilot was conducting skydiving operations in the vicinity of the accident airport. After the airplane climbed to about 11,500 feet msl, all three of the skydivers aboard exited the airplane, and the pilot began a descent to return to the departure airport. The pilot said that while on approach, all engine power was lost, and emergency engine procedures did not restore engine power.
AFTER FUELING THE AIRCRAFT, THE PILOT OBSERVED ‘A LOT’ OF WATER IN THE FUEL, WHEN CHECKING THE SUMPS. HE SHOOK THE WINGS, AND AGAIN OBSERVED WATER. HE ALLOWED THE AIRCRAFT TO SIT FOR ABOUT AN HOUR, THEN HE CHECKED THE SUMPS AGAIN. HE DRAINED WATER UNTIL NO MORE WATER WAS OBSERVED. AT ABOUT 200 FEET AGL, DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB, THE ENGINE QUIT.
The ground loader had fueled the airplane from the airport fuel truck. He stated that the flight crew did not sump the fuel tanks after they were fueled. Immediately after takeoff the right engine lost power, the right wing lowered to about 90 deg, and the airplane impacted the ground adjacent to the runway. Then forward fuel tank, which provides fuel to the right engine, was found to contain about 8 gals of a heavily contaminated mixture composed of water,