The private pilot reported that the accident flight was the second skydiving drop flight of the day. The
takeoff and initial climb were normal; however, between 900 and 1,000 ft above ground level, the
engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot executed a forced landing to a field, resulting in
substantial damage to the airplane. About 5 gallons of fuel was removed from the airplane at the
accident site before transport. During a detailed examination, flight control cable continuity was
established from the cockpit to all control surfaces. The fuel selector valve was found between the right
tank and off position. The valve functioned normally when rotated by hand. Although the fuel selector
valve was found in between the “off” and right tank positions after the accident, it could not be
determined if the valve was in that position during the flight. The fuel strainer showed a small amount of
fuel present. The fuel was tested and the results were negative for water. There was a significant amount
of debris observed in the fuel strainer and the strainer bowl. The debris was consistent with caulking and
rust particles. The airplane had usable fuel onboard during the accident flight and the engine ran
smoothly during the day’s previous flight. Whether the debris found in the fuel filter bowl contributed to
the loss of power could not be determined.
Read the NTSB report.