NTSB Identification: IAD01LA059.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 22, 2001 in UNIONTOWN, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/26/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-310, registration: N35WT
Injuries: 1 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 commercial pilot departed on the last segment of his 5-leg trip with an estimated 44-48 gallons of fuel in the inboard tanks, and no fuel in the outboard tanks. While on final approach, both engines stopped producing power and the pilot performed a forced landing 4 1/2 miles short of the runway. Examination of the fuel tanks revealed that the left and right inboard tanks were empty. With the battery off, the left fuel gauge read approximately 1/16 full and the right fuel gauge read approximately 1/2 full. The two left and one right inboard fuel probes were checked for variable resistance using a calibrated digital VOM. None of the probes that were tested were within the manufacturer's published resistance limits. The operator stated that the normal procedure for checking fuel quantity was by referencing the fuel gauges, and that the airplane would burn an average of 40 gallons per hour. Fuel burn for the five trip legs was about 41 gallons per hour. The pilot reported a total of 1,706 flight hours, of which 365.6 hours were in make and model. The pilot reported no additional mechanical deficiencies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's failure to perform fuel calculations. A factor was the inboard fuel tank probes not being within the manufacturer's resistance limits, which resulted in inaccurate fuel gauges. Full narrative available
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