NTSB Identification: MIA02LA126.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 03, 2002 in Atlantic Ocean
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2002
Aircraft: Rockwell International 112TC, registration: N4561W
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.

The pilot stated that he had 55 gallons of fuel on the airplane, when he departed Spruce Creek Airport. He said he determined the fuel quantity based on the fuel level with respect to the metal tab in the tank, and that he flew the airplane to Daytona Beach International Airport, where he loaded passengers and baggage, and then flew to Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. The pilot further stated that the flight was longer than planned because a waypoint had not been entered in the GPS unit, and he flew past Marsh Harbour, and as a result, when he landed, he refueled in Marsh Harbour, putting 10 gallons of fuel in the fuel tank. According to the pilot, he operated the airplane at about 65 % power with the rpms between 2350 and 2400, the manifold pressure at 32 inches of Hg, and that the winds were minimal for both the flight to, and the flight from Marsh Harbour. He said that about 10 to 12 miles from the shore, while on the return flight from Marsh Harbour the engine ceased operating and he ditched the airplane in the Atlantic Ocean. The owner said that the airplane had 50 gallons of fuel on board when it departed Spruce Creek Airport, and that the pilot's fuel consumption calculations were erroneous, with fuel consumption for the airplane at best economy cruise and best power being about 13.5 gals/hour, and 14.5 gals/hr respectively. The owner further stated that the pilot did not anticipate the additional 23% fuel that he needed to complete the flight. Information obtained from FAA Miami Air Traffic Control showed that at 1434:21, a communications transmission was made to ATC during which the person stated, "We are out of fuel."

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

The pilot's improper planning/decision and insufficient refueling which resulted in the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and the aircraft being ditched in the ocean.

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