NTSB Identification: ERA11LA405
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, July 17, 2011 in Matinicus Island, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/07/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA U206G, registration: N910TA
Injuries: 1 Serious,3 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.

After takeoff from the island airport for the air taxi flight, the pilot made the initial power reduction when the airplane was at an estimated 200 feet above the ocean. At that time, the engine lost total power, and the pilot ditched the airplane. The pilot and the three passengers were able to exit the airplane before it sank. For about 1 hour until rescuers reached them, they held onto a section of the airplane’s belly cargo pod that had separated during the water impact. At the time of the wreckage recovery, the left and right fuel tank filler caps were found securely installed. The fuel selector was found in the right fuel tank position. About 25 gallons of sea water and 1 pint of aviation fuel were drained from the right fuel tank. About 27 gallons of aviation fuel and 2 gallons of sea water were drained from the left tank. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any discrepancies that would have prevented normal operation of the airplane. The physical evidence indicates that the engine lost power as a result of fuel starvation due to the position of the fuel selector on the empty right tank.

The operator required the pilot to provide the passengers a safety briefing before takeoff. However, none of the passengers were briefed or were aware that life vests were onboard the airplane. If a piece of wreckage had not been available for the passengers to hold on to, the failure of the pilot to notify the passengers of the availability of life vests could have increased the severity of the accident. As a result of the accident, the operator made numerous safety changes including mandating that the pilot read out loud a pre-takeoff briefing referencing the onboard passenger briefing guide card and offering all passengers a personal flotation device to wear during flights.

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

The pilot’s improper fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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