NTSB Identification: LAX03FAMS1.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 15, 2002 in Pacific Ocean
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-200T, registration: N101YK
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The twin engine airplane never arrived at its intended destination following a ferry flight over the Pacific Ocean and is presumed destroyed. The commercial pilot is presumed to have sustained fatal injuries. The pilot intended on flying the airplane from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Tinian Island in the Northern Mariana Islands, and planned on stopping to Majuro Island in the Marshall Islands to refuel. Supplemental fuel tanks were added to the aircraft's pre-existing fuel system providing a total of 373 gallons of aviation gasoline. The pilot calculated he had approximately 15 hours of endurance, and estimated the flight would take 12.5 hours. According to air traffic control (ATC) summaries and transcripts, the pilot was having trouble communicating with his high frequency (HF) radio. He relayed his last position to ATC via another aircraft and requested a climb to 10,000 feet msl. He relayed to ATC his level off at 10,000 feet, which was the last radio transmission received. A weather study conducted for the pilot's route of flight did not indicate that severe weather scenarios existed. The airplane was ferried from the U.S. mainland to Honolulu a few weeks prior to the accident, and no anomalies with the airplane were reported. The ferry tank installation in the aircraft cabin partially blocked the single right side cabin door. In the event the pilot did have to ditch the airplane in the ocean, it is questionable as to whether he would have been able to exit the airplane with his survival equipment in an expeditious manner.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: undetermined, missing aircraft. Full narrative available
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