NTSB Identification: SEA95LA099.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 12, 1995 in SEQUIM, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 310K, registration: N6912L
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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

THE PILOT TOOK OFF WITH APPROXIMATELY A 4-HOUR FUEL SUPPLY ON A PLANNED 1-HOUR FLIGHT. HE STATED THAT APPROXIMATELY 50 MINUTES INTO THE FLIGHT, WHILE OVER OPEN WATER AT AN ALTITUDE OF LESS THAN 1,000 FEET, THE RIGHT ENGINE DEVELOPED A 'STRONG' VIBRATION (CAUSE UNKNOWN). IN RESPONSE TO THE VIBRATION, THE PILOT SHUT DOWN THE RIGHT ENGINE. THE VIBRATION PERSISTED, ALTHOUGH LESS SEVERELY AFTER RIGHT ENGINE SHUTDOWN. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, THE VIBRATION WAS SO 'STRONG' THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO ATTAIN SUFFICIENT POWER TO MAINTAIN LEVEL FLIGHT USING SINGLE-ENGINE OPERATION; CONSEQUENTLY, HE WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN LEVEL FLIGHT OR REACH A SUITABLE LANDING AREA. HE DITCHED THE AIRPLANE AT SEA ON 'GLASSY WATER.' THE AIRPLANE SANK IN ABOUT 150 FEET OF WATER AND WAS NOT RECOVERED.

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

FAILURE OF AN UNDETERMINED AIRCRAFT COMPONENT, WHICH RESULTED IN A SEVERE VIBRATION, AND SUBSEQUENT DITCHING AT SEA. A FACTOR RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE PILOT'S LOW CRUISING ALTITUDE (OVER WATER) OF LESS THAN 1,000 FEET, WHICH LIMITED HIS ABILITY TO SUCCESSFULLY RECOVER FROM THE SITUATION.

Full narrative available

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