On September 27, 1996, about 0935 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31-310, N151JP, registered to a private owner, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91, personal flight, crashed in the vicinity of Wassau Island, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airline transport pilot, and two passengers were not injured. The flight had departed Sarasota, Florida, at 0750, en route to Hilton Head, South Carolina, when the pilot reported to Savannah Approach Control that the airplane's engines had lost power. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that about 25 to 30 miles southeast of Savannah "the right engine quit, shortly thereafter the left engine quit." ATC gave the pilot vectors to Hunter Field, however the pilot said, after getting the airport in sight, "I thought it [was] too far to make a safe landing," and elected to land on the beach.
In addition, the pilot stated on the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, that the "fuel gauges [were] giving faulty readings." The pilot did not fill out the block on the form pertaining to fuel onboard at the time of takeoff or did he mention weather or not the airplane was serviced with fuel before departure.
One of the passengers stated that after the engines failed the pilot "tried many tricks to get down...switched fuel tanks, pumps on/off etc...to no avail."
When the FAA arrived at the wreckage they found no fuel in the fuel tanks, and none of the fuel tanks had been breached, nor was there any signs of fuel leakage.