NTSB Identification: NYC05FA053.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 06, 2005 in Coatesville, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N2343Z
Injuries: 2 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 pilot took off from his home airport, and flew to an airport approximately 1 hour away. Prior to his return flight, he fueled the twin-engine airplane with 20 gallons of fuel, with 10 gallons added to each outboard fuel tank. About 45 minutes after departing the intermediate airport, witnesses observed the airplane on final approach to the pilot's home airport. During the approach, the airplane made a "hard left turn," and impacted a field. One witness reported hearing "at least one engine running," and another witness reported hearing the airplane's engine "throttle, and then no throttle, and throttle again," prior to the impact. Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that both the right inboard and right outboard fuel tanks were ruptured; however, more than 15 gallons of fuel was drained from the right wing. The right fuel selector valve and handle were selected to the "inboard" position, and the right engine propeller blades displayed rotational signatures. Both the left inboard and left outboard fuel tanks remained intact. The outboard tank contained a "trace" amount of fuel, and the inboard tank contained about 10 gallons of fuel. The left engine fuel selector valve was selected to the outboard tank, and no fuel was observed in the fuel line from the left engine fuel pump to the fuel servo. A "trace" amount of fuel was observed in the left engine fuel distributor, as well as the regulator section of the fuel servo. In addition, the left engine propeller revealed no rotational signatures and was not in the feathered position. No pre-impact mechanical anomalies were noted with either the airplane or the engines. The procedure outlined in the pilot operating handbook, for a loss of engine power in flight, called for the pilot to feather the propeller of the failed engine, to reduce the yaw that would occur in the direction of that engine.

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

The pilot's inadequate remedial action during an engine failure, which resulted in a loss of airplane control. A factor was the pilot's improper fuel management, which resulted in fuel starvation to one engine, and its subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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