NTSB Identification: MIA97LA087.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 27, 1997 in CALHOUN, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 310R, registration: N72GL
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 copilot stated the PIC had requested a lower altitude and switched the fuel tanks from the main fuel tank to the auxiliary fuel tank position. The engines sputtered, and they switched back to the main fuel position. The PIC informed ATC, 'sir we are running out of fuel now.' A witness heard the engines sputter and saw the airplane approaching his position at tree top level. The airplane made a left turn followed by a steep bank to the right and disappeared from view below the tree line. Examination of the crash site revealed the left fuel selector was in the main fuel position. The right fuel selector was found loosely in-between the auxiliary and main fuel position. Disassembly of both engines revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Examination of the left propeller revealed it was operating under low power at impact, and was probably windmilling. The right propeller was operating under conditions of higher power at impact. Neither propeller was in the feather position or were in the vicinity of the low pitch stop at impact.

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

The pilot-in-command's improper fuel management and improper positioning of the fuel selector valve to the empty fuel tank. Factors in the accident were: the PIC's improper in-flight planning and decision, his failure to list an alternate airport, and his decision to allow the newly hired copilot to perform instrument approaches in marginal weather which led to numerous instrument approaches and missed approaches.

Full narrative available

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