NTSB Identification: ATL05FA043.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 10, 2005 in Charleston, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-30, registration: N7654Y
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.

Forty seconds after takeoff, the pilot radioed that he had an emergency and was banking the airplane hard to the left to return to runway 21. Controllers informed the pilot that runway 21 was not cleared and that he could land on runway 33. The airplane collided with the ground between runways 21 and 33. Examination of the aircraft revealed the left hand fuel selector was found selected to the main tank position and approximately one-quart of fuel was drained from this tank. Three gallons are considered unusable. The right hand fuel selector was found selected to the auxiliary fuel tank position. At least five gallons of fuel was found in that tank. Neither the left main nor the right auxiliary tanks were breached. The airplane was fitted with tip tanks installed under a Supplemental Type Certificate. The tip tank switches located on the instrument panel, were found in the auxiliary or off position. The tip tanks were found breached and fire damaged. The airplane's flight manual calls for takeoff and landing to be made on the main fuel tanks only. The post-accident examination of the airframe and subsystems failed to disclose any mechanical problems or component failures.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight and mismanagement of the fuel supply, which resulted in fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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