NTSB Identification: ATL95LA132.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 12, 1995 in RIDGELAND, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/26/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 310, registration: N3083D
Injuries: 2 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.

EN ROUTE, THE PILOT WAS INFORMED THAT HIS MODE C ENCODER WAS NOT BEING RECEIVED. THE AIRPLANE SLOWLY BEGAN LOSING ELECTRICAL POWER, WITH EVENTUAL FAILURE OF ALL COMMUNICATION AND NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT (INCLUDING A HAND-HELD GPS THAT USES POWER FROM THE AIRCRAFT'S BATTERIES.) THE PILOT CONTINUED THE FLIGHT USING PILOTAGE. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT WHEN THE FUEL GAGES WERE INDICATING 10 GALS IN EACH TANK, HE DECIDED TO MAKE AN OFF-AIRPORT LANDING ON AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO LOWER THE GEAR, BUT WAS UNSUCCESSFUL. AN ATTEMPT TO MANUALLY PUMP THE GEAR DOWN WAS NOT MADE. TRAFFIC ON THE INTERSTATE FORCED THE PILOT TO INITIATE A GEAR UP LANDING ON A SERVICE ROAD ADJACENT TO THE INTERSTATE. THE PILOT STATED THAT THE ENGINE MAINTAINED FULL POWER DURING THE ENTIRE SEQUENCE. AFTER THE ACCIDENT, THE BATTERIES WERE RECHARGED AND REPLACED IN THE AIRCRAFT. BOTH ALTERNATORS AND ALTERNATOR SWITCHES OPERATED NORMALLY. NO EVIDENACE OF CHARGING CIRCUIT MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE WAS NOTED.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO ASSURE THAT THE AIRPLANE'S ALTERNATORS WERE ON WHICH LED TO A COMPLETE LOSS OF ELECTRICAL POWER, AND HIS FAILURE TO ATTEMPT TO LOWER THE LANDING GEAR BY EMERGENCY PROCEDURES.

Full narrative available

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