NTSB Identification: LAX97LA097.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 07, 1997 in LOS ANGELES, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 310Q, registration: N10ML
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the pilot, before departure for the maintenance test flight he had determined that the main fuel tanks were at least 1/2 full of fuel and the auxiliary tanks were completely full. The pilot allowed another pilot to fly from the left seat while he occupied the right seat. After flying for about 1 hour the pilots approached their destination. The flying pilot entered the downwind leg and experienced a total loss of left engine power. The right seated pilot took the controls and turned toward the airport; however within seconds the right engine lost all power. The right seated pilot made a forced landing on a nearby golf course. During the landing on rough terrain the airplane impacted trees. The right fuel tank fragmented from the wing, and witnesses reported evidence of a fuel odor along the wreckage distribution path. An examination of the remaining intact fuel tanks revealed the auxiliary tanks were about 1/3 full, and the left main tank was completely dry. Both of the cockpit fuel selectors were observed set to the left main tank position. According to the emergency procedures, in the event of an engine failure the fuel selector valve handles should be turned to their respective tank for each engine.

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

Fuel starvation resulting from the pilot's improper fuel tank selector position and failure to perform correct emergency procedures.

Full narrative available

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