March 14, Huntington, W.V. / Cessna 150


At about 11:20 eastern time, a Cessna 150 lost engine power and was ditched in a river near Huntington. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he had purchased the airplane in January and it was overdue for an annual inspection. He was issued a ferry permit to fly the aircraft from Huntington to Milton to receive an annual inspection. The pilot said he drained water from the fuel tanks, conducted a preflight inspection and ran up the engine before takeoff. About three miles from the airport, the engine began sputtering. When he determined he could not make it back to the airport, he turned toward the shore of a river and ditched the airplane. He swam to shore and the airplane sank. The mechanic who had obtained the ferry permit said the airplanes fuel filler necks had rusted and it had rained continuously the night before the accident flight. In addition, the airplane had not flown for at least three months before the accident flight. The mechanic had run the airplane on the ground for 20 to 30 minutes prior to obtaining the ferry permit.


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