NTSB Identification: LAX08FA101
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 12, 2008 in Compton, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA 310Q, registration: N6231Q
Injuries: 4 Serious.
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.
Prior to departing for a planned round-trip flight, the pilot visually ascertained the quantity of fuel in the airplane's main fuel tanks, but relied on the fuel gauges to ascertain the quantity of fuel in the auxiliary fuel tanks. Prior to taking off for the return flight, the pilot did not look in any of the fuel tanks and estimated the airplane contained a total of 30 gallons of fuel that was distributed among the two main and two auxiliary tanks. Approaching the airport, the left engine sputtered and the pilot repositioned both fuel selectors from the main tanks to the auxiliary tanks position. The left engine did not restart. The pilot then attempted to provide fuel to the left engine by positioning its fuel selector into the cross-feed position. Moments later, both engines lost all power. At the time, the airplane was on short final approach for landing. As the airplane continued descending, the pilot again attempted to restore engine power and he switched the right engine's fuel selector to the right auxiliary tank. The right engine's power surged to red line and the airplane began to uncontrollably roll left. The pilot reduced the right engine's throttle to regain directional and lateral control, and the airplane impacted the underlying homes, coming to rest 2,100 feet short of the landing threshold. An examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of a preimpact mechanical malfunction with the airplane's fuel control system or engines. Only ounces of fuel were observed in fuel lines, and no evidence of fuel was found in tanks or in the underlying terrain.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of both engines' power during approach due to fuel exhaustion that resulted from the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and failure to verify the quantity of fuel on board the airplane. Full narrative available
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