This August 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Cessna 152. Injuries: 2 Minor. Location: Ormond Beach, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The flight instructor and student pilot found water in the fuel tanks during the preflight inspection. Large amounts of fuel had to be sumped to ensure all the water was removed. The one-hour instructional flight was uneventful. They returned to the airport, landed and took a short break. They then returned to the airplane to continue the instructional training of touch-and-go landings. They did not sump the fuel system before the second flight. During the initial climb after the first touch-and-go, the engine lost all power about 300 feet above the ground. The flight instructor took over control of the airplane and landed on a golf course fairway, hitting trees before coming to a stop. The post-crash examination revealed six ounces of water in the gascolator and the right fuel tank cap showed indications of leaking and infiltration.
Probable cause: The failure of both pilots to perform an adequate pre-flight inspection and to remove water from the fuel.
For more information: NTSB.gov