NTSB Identification: LAX06LA175.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 18, 2006 in Redding, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 210J, registration: N3384S
Injuries: 1 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.

During cruise the airplane lost engine power and the pilot ditched the airplane in a lake. The pilot said that during the preflight, he used a fuel stick to determine the fuel quantity in each fuel tank. He indicated that there was between 53 and 55 gallons of fuel onboard at the time of departure. One hour into the flight, he switched fuel tanks from the left to the right fuel tank, and planned to switch back to the left fuel tank after another hour had passed. Once he arrived in the airport environment he overheard a radio transmission from a departing aircraft, so he diverted towards a nearby dam to allow the other aircraft time to depart the airport environment. While in the vicinity of the dam at 1,200 feet above the ground the engine quit. He immediately switched fuel tanks, turned on the fuel boost pump, and advanced the throttle; however, the engine did not respond. As he approached the dam, he observed power lines surrounding the dam. His intention was to ditch the airplane in the water due to unsuitable terrain in the area for an emergency landing. After the airplane cleared the power lines, he made a descent towards the water. The airplane impacted the water at 60 miles per hour. An engine inspection and teardown were conducted after the aircraft was recovered from the lake with no discrepancies noted that would have precluded normal operation. Eight gallons of fuel was recovered from the left fuel tank, and no fuel was recovered from the right fuel tank. No fuel was found in the fuel injector nozzles, that were found to be clear of debris. The fuel lines were clear and intact. No fuel was found in the engine driven fuel pump.

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

Fuel starvation due to the pilot's inaccurate fuel consumption calculations and inadequate fuel system management.

Full narrative available

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