Just Aircraft, maker of the SuperSTOL bush plane that crashed last week in South Carolina with company co-founder Troy Woodland at the controls, issued a statement blaming the mishap on water contamination in the fuel. The company also heaped praise on the airplane's steel tube cage for allowing Woodland and a passenger to escape the mangled wreckage "without a scratch."
According to the company statement, shortly after taking off from the Just Aircraft factory airstrip in Walhalla, South Carolina, on August 2, Woodland made a forced landing in hilly terrain when the engine lost power, surged and then quit.
He tried to put the SuperSTOL down a clearing in a new housing development, but a wing clipped a tree. Although the airplane was badly damaged in the crash, the only injuries sustained by Woodland and his passenger, according to the statement, was soreness from the shoulder straps.
Woodland had pre-flighted and flown the aircraft earlier in the day and added fuel just before takeoff. It was discovered later that the fuel he added had water in it, the statement said.