NTSB Identification: ANC08FA104
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 2008 in Sitka, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/2009
Aircraft: BEECH 95-B55, registration: N98HA
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 private pilot departed on an instrument-flight-rules (IFR), cross-country flight after obtaining fuel. The next planned fuel stop was about 741.5 nautical miles away. IFR weather conditions prevailed along the flight, but visual conditions existed at the next airport, where the pilot landed in order to obtain fuel. The pilot subsequently departed and contacted an Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) specialist to say that he was unable to refuel at that airport. He then requested a clearance to another airport, about 83.4 nautical miles away, and stated: “I hope we have enough fuel.” The ARTCC specialist offered a closer airport that was about 36 miles east. The pilot requested a clearance for the Localizer-Type Directional Aid (LDA) approach to the closer airport. During the initial stages of the approach, the pilot appeared to be unsure about the LDA approach procedures, and was unable to join the localizer for the approach. The ARTCC specialist asked the pilot if he wanted to try another approach, and the pilot said that he wanted to continue on to the airport that was 83.4 miles away instead. About 1 hour after the airplane had departed in search of additional fuel, and about 2 minutes before the accident, the ARTCC specialist contacted the pilot to request an estimate of his remaining fuel. The pilot’s last garbled radio transmission was: "Looks like we're having trouble with our left engine." A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter located the airplane's wreckage in an area of mountainous, tree-covered terrain along the anticipated flight route. A responding state trooper reported that the airplane's fuel tanks were empty. Fuel consumption calculations disclosed that the estimated fuel remaining when the airplane arrived at the destination airport (where fuel was not available) was equivalent to about 1 hour and 11 minutes flight time at a cruise power setting. No mechanical problems with the airplane were discovered during postaccident inspections by the NTSB.

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

A loss of engine power in flight due to fuel exhaustion resulting from the pilot's inadequate fuel planning and navigation.

Full narrative available

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