The aviation watchdog has put pilots on notice following an aborted takeoff at a remote Territory airport due to contaminated fuel.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released investigation into the takeoff of a single-engine light plane from Groote Eylandt on March 23.

The ATSB said a Cessna 172N was going down the runway when the engine ran rough, causing the pilot to reject the takeoff.

An inspection found there was water contamination in the aircraft’s fuel strainer.

“The pilot had observed that the right fuel filler cap was unsecured and conducted fuel drains which revealed a quantity of water in the tank,” the ATSB said.

The ATSB said the pilot then drained the tank completely until there was no evidence of any remaining contamination.

“Pilots should be vigilant in conducting fuel quality checks and may need to refamiliarise themselves with the fuel contamination settling times, especially in cases where contamination is suspected.”

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