NTSB Identification: ANC06LA078.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 23, 2006 in Borinquen, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N75JF
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.

The airline transport certificated pilot purchased the twin engine airplane about two days before the flight. He indicated that the airplane had a fuel capacity of 192 gallons, and had an endurance of 7.5 to 8 hours. He departed on a Title 14, CFR Part 91 cross-country flight for an airport that was about 908 miles away. The airplane was equipped with auxiliary wingtip fuel tanks, and the pilot said the airplane consumed about 23 gallons of fuel per hour. Five hours and 12 minutes after takeoff, after consuming an estimated 122 gallons, the pilot said that the main fuel tanks were dry, and he was trying to draw fuel from the auxiliary tanks without success. He said the fuel gauges for the auxiliary tanks were indicating 1/4 full, but both engines were surging. He stated that there still should have been about 50 gallons of fuel in the airplane's wingtip tanks, and he tried every fuel tank and cross-feed combination, but the engines lost power, and he ditched the airplane about 829 miles from his departure point. The airplane sank in deep water, and was not recovered.

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

Fuel starvation/exhaustion for an undetermined reason during cruise flight, which resulted in a complete loss of engine power to both engines and a ditching in the ocean.

Full narrative available

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