NTSB Identification: MIA02LA034.
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Accident occurred Monday, November 26, 2001 in Reidsville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 310C, registration: N1840H
Injuries: 5 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 stated they flew from Niagara Falls, New York, to Hickory, North Carolina. At Hickory, he had all 4 fuel tanks filled to the top. After takeoff from Hickory, they climbed to 8,500 feet. Takeoff and climb was performed using the main or tip fuel tanks. After using about 40 gallons from each main tank, he switched the fuel selectors to the inboard or auxiliary tanks. He then climbed to 9,500 feet. When he had used all but about 2 or 3 gallons from the inboard tanks, he switched the fuel selectors back to the main fuel tanks. After about 15 to 20 minutes the engines began to surge and lose power. He contacted the air traffic controller and they directed him towards the Reidsville Airport. He moved the engine throttle controls to idle and began the descent for landing. He entered downwind for runway 29 at Reidsville, with both propellers wind milling. When he turned on base leg, he lowered the landing gear. Upon turning to final approach, he realized he could not make the runway. The engines had no power and he placed the propeller controls into the feathered position. Just prior to the landing flare, the airplane did not respond to control inputs. The airplane touched down hard, right wing low, and an explosion occurred in the right wing area. The airplane slid about 100 feet and an explosion occurred in the left wing area. When the airplane came to a stop, they exited the airplane. Post crash examination of the airplane at the crash site was performed by an FAA Inspector and representatives of Cessna Aircraft and Teledyne Continental Motors. Both engine fuel selectors were found on the auxiliary fuel tank position. The auxiliary fuel tanks were not breached by impact forces or the post crash fire, and they contained no usable fuel. The main fuel tanks had separated from the airplane and were damaged by the post crash fire. The left propeller was in the feathered position, and the right propeller was in the low pitch position. The engines were removed from the aircraft after recovery and placed on an engine test stand. The left engine was operated to 1,700 rpm with no evidence of failure or malfunction. A higher power was not obtained do to a fuel leak at the No. 5 induction tube do to impact damage. The right engine was operated to full power with no evidence of failure or malfunction. Fueling personnel at Hickory, North Carolina, stated that they completely filled all 4 fuel tanks on the airplane with 100 low lead fuel, at the request of the pilot, prior to the airplane departing. They stated they had no reports from pilots of other airplanes that had been fueled before or after N1840H about problems with the fuel.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Improper fuel management by the pilot resulting in loss of power in both engines, and the pilots lowering of the landing gear prior to having the runway made resulting in a hard landing short of the runway. Full narrative available
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