NTSB Identification: ERA12IA114
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Sunday, December 18, 2011 in Clewiston, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/27/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA T210L, registration: N717KW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

According to the pilot, he began the flight with about 15 to 18 gallons of fuel on board. About 45 minutes into the flight, the engine experienced a total loss of power, and the pilot performed an off-airport landing. During the approach, the pilot noticed a power line, overran the field, and the airplane came to rest submerged in a freshwater canal with only the left wing above the water. A postrecovery examination revealed that the fuel selector valve in the cockpit was selected to the left fuel tank, the left fuel tank and the fuel lines to the engine were devoid of fuel, and the right fuel tank contained about 2 gallons of fuel. No fuel or oil was observed in the water around the airplane. No mechanical malfunctions were noted that would have prevented normal operation. According to the pilot’s operating handbook, about 0.5 gallon of fuel per tank is unusable. Although some usable fuel was recovered from the right tank, based on the airplane’s fuel consumption data, fuel exhaustion would have been imminent. Further, the quantity of fuel on board was insufficient to meet the 30-minute day visual flight rules fuel reserve requirements specified in 14 Code of Federal Regulations 91.151(a)(1).

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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