ATL95LA132
ATL95LA132

On July 12, 1995, about 1455 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 310, N3083D, collided with the terrain during an intentional gear up landing near Ridgeland, South Carolina. The airplane was operated by the owner/pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A flight plan was not filed for the personal flight. There were no injuries to the private pilot nor his commercially rated pilot passenger. The airplane was substantially damaged. Origination of the flight was Titusville, Florida, about 1250 eastern daylight time, on the same day.

According to the pilot, the flight was normal until Daytona Beach Approach Control advised him that the mode "C" portion of the transponder was not being received. Approximately 50 minutes into the flight, the pilot realized that he had a failure of all of his communication and navigation equipment,including a hand held GPS that received power from the aircraft's battery. At this time the pilot also noticed that the fuel gauges were indicating a rapid loss of fuel.

The aircraft was approaching Savannah International Airport at an altitude of 8,500 feet, when the pilot made the decision to locate an uncontrolled field where he could make a safe landing. The pilot and his passenger then attempted to use pilotage to locate Ridgeland County Airport, in Ridgeland, South Carolina, which should have been a 15 minute flight.

The pilot stated that they were unsuccessful in locating the airport, and the fuel gauges continued to indicate an abnormal fuel burn. The pilot elected to land on an interstate highway, and a pre-landing checklist was completed. However, an attempt to lower the landing gear was unsuccessful. The pilot did not attempt to use the emergency extension system.

Traffic on the interstate forced the pilot to attempt a gear up landing on an adjacent service road. During the landing sequence, the airplane collided with trees, and was substantially damaged. The pilot stated that the engines never lost power.

A post crash examination of the aircraft was completed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The aircraft landing gear was raised and extended without any problem. Both alternators and regulators were secured, and the drive belts were installed. All electrical connections were tight. All circuit breakers were in.

The fuel quantity was checked in each tank, except the left tip tank which had been compromised in the landing. Both inboard tanks had fuel to a level four inches below the filler neck. The right tip tank had fuel to a level 11.5 inches below the filler neck.

The batteries were recharged and replaced in the aircraft. The damaged propellers were removed,and the engines were run with a test propeller. Both of the alternators and alternator switches operated normally. No evidence of malfunction or failure was noted.

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