When it comes to figuring out what caused an airplane to crash, the first and most obvious clues often lead to a plausible, but ultimately incorrect, explanation. A case in point is an accident that occurred on June 15, 2003, at Jeannette, Pa. A Cessna 205 went down, killing the pilot and three skydivers. A fourth skydiver survived, but had no recollection of the accident flight. It became apparent to investigators that the engine suffered at least a partial power loss. Early in the investigation, it was discovered that the pilot/operator had used plastic containers in refueling the airplane, and contamination was found in fuel samples. It seemed like a sensible explanation, but it turned out that something else had been happening.
It was 3:15 p.m. when the Cessna 205 was damaged during a forced landing after its takeoff from the Greensburg Jeannette Regional Airport. VMC prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the parachute drop flight conducted under Part 91.