NTSB Identification: NYC95LA108.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 13, 1995 in ARARAT, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 310J, registration: CFSLE
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

ABOUT 30 MIN INTO THE FLIGHT, AT 10,000 FT, THE TRANSPONDER WAS REPORTED INOPERATIVE BY ATC. THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY A LOSS OF COMM AND NAV EQUIPMENT. THE PILOT COULD NOT RESET EITHER GENERATOR, AND NOTICED THAT THE FUEL GAUGES WERE READING LOW. HE STARTED A DESCENT WHILE STILL IN VMC CONDITIONS TO FIND AN AIRPORT. DURING THE DESCENT THE PILOT NOTICED THAT THE FUEL GAUGES WERE READING LOWER. AT 4,000 FT THE MAIN FUEL GAUGES INDICATED EMPTY. THE PILOT'S HAND HELD GPS INDICATED AN AIRPORT WITHIN 6 MI, BUT HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT FUEL EXHAUSTION AND DECIDED TO MAKE AN OFF-AIRPORT PRECAUTIONARY LANDING. THE LANDING GEAR WAS CRANKED DOWN BY HAND. AFTER TOUCHDOWN THE RIGHT GEAR COLLAPSED. EXAMINATION REVEALED FUEL IN THE MAIN AND AUX FUEL TANKS. THE GENERATOR BELTS WERE TIGHT, AND THE WIRING WAS ATTACHED. CALCULATIONS SHOWED THAT WITH THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM RUNNING ON BATTERIES, 30 TO 40 MIN OF FLIGHT TIME AT NIGHT WOULD DISCHARGE THE BATTERIES AND CAUSE THE ELECTRICAL FAILURE. AFTER THE INITIAL DEPARTURE FROM NEWARK, THE PILOT HAD MADE AN IMMEDIATE RETURN AND LANDING TO REPLACE AN OIL CAP ON THE RIGHT ENGINE. THE PILOT THEN DEPARTED ON THIS FLIGHT. THE PILOT HAD 10 HRS IN THE CESSNA 310.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE COMPLETE LOSS OF ELECTRICAL POWER FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS, AND THE PILOT'S IMPROPER DECISION TO MAKE AN OFF-AIRPORT LANDING.

Full narrative available

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