NTSB Identification: ERA09LA004
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 04, 2008 in Savannah, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA T210M, registration: N11PC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 airplane was fueled twice in an effort to obtain maximum fuel capacity, then secured in a hangar and was not operated; no fuel leakage was noted on the hangar floor. The pilot did not visually inspect the fuel tanks during her preflight inspection, contrary to the Pilot's Operating Handbook. The flight departed with an inoperative right fuel quantity gauge and proceeded towards the destination airport with fuel supplied from both fuel tanks at different times and durations. Approximately 3 hours and 35 minutes into the flight, while the left fuel tank was supplying fuel, the engine experienced a momentary surge that stopped when the pilot reduced throttle control. At that time the left fuel quantity gauge indicated approximately 35 minutes of fuel remaining at normal cruise power; however, the pilot thought it should have 24 gallons remaining and attributed the error to be an indicator problem. The flight continued and she positioned the fuel selector to the right tank and flew for a few minutes, then repositioned the fuel selector to the left tank, for which the fuel quantity gauge indicated zero. Several minutes later the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. She notified air traffic control and was vectored to the nearest airport but was unable to land there. She ditched the airplane in a marsh, and was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. No unusual fuel flow was reported to have occurred during the accident flight. Postaccident inspection of the wreckage revealed no fuel in either fuel tank or in fuel lines in the engine compartment. No fuel leak was noted and there was no evidence of engine preimpact failure or malfunction.

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 as a result of the pilot's improper fuel management.

Full narrative available

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