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N3180P accident description

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Crash location 19.738889°N, 156.045555°W
Nearest city Kona, HI
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Tail number N3180P
Accident date 14 Jul 2016
Aircraft type Piper Pa 23-150
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 14, 2016, about 1515 Hawaii standard time, a Piper PA-23-150, N3180P, registered to Time Machine LLC., and operated by the pilot, ditched in the Pacific Ocean near Kona, Hawaii, after a loss of power in both engines. Both pilots sustained minor injuries. The airplane sank, and was not recovered. The cross country personal flight departed John Rodgers Airport (JRF), Kapolei, Hawaii, en route to Kona International Airport (KOA), Kona, Hawaii, about 1345. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan had not been filed.

The pilots reported that on departure both fuel gauges indicated 3/4 full. While in cruise flight at 5,500 feet, both engines began to run rough. The pilots descended to 3,500 feet, and the engines seemed to smooth out a bit. Shortly thereafter, the right engine surged before losing all power followed by a surge in the left engine and a total loss of power. The pilots reported that they turned on both auxiliary fuel pumps, and followed the emergency checklist, both of which failed to restore power to either engine. At the time of the power loss, the fuel gauges indicated 1/2 tank according to the pilots. They opened the entry door prior to water contact, and successfully evacuated the airplane after touchdown.

Review of the maintenance records revealed that the last airframe annual inspection was conducted on October 10, 2015. On April 20, 2016, engine oil servicing, spark plug reconditioning, leak check, and magneto checks were performed on both engines with no anomalies noted by maintenance personnel.

NTSB Probable Cause

The total loss of power in both engines during cruise flight for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane was not recovered from the ocean.

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