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N601RE accident description

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Crash location 42.911111°N, 82.528889°W
Nearest city Lake Huron, MI
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Tail number N601RE
Accident date 26 Jun 2005
Aircraft type Piper PA-31-310
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On June 26, 2005, at 1330 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31-310, N601RE, operated by Evans Air Corporation, impacted water during a forced landing on Lake Huron, near Port Huron, Michigan. The airplane experienced a loss of engine power during visual approach to St. Clair County International Airport (PHN), Port Huron, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was not operating on a flight plan. The commercial pilot received minor injuries and the five passengers reported no injuries. The personal flight originated from Killarnery Municipal Airport (CPT2), Ontario, Canada, en route to PHN.

The pilot's last check ride was conducted under 14 CFR 135 on January 25, 2005 in using the accident airplane. He reported a total flight time of 6,900 hours of which 3,000 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The pilot stated about 1:10 hours after departure from CPT2, the left wing appeared to be out of fuel and the right main was just under a half tank. He turned on the fuel crossfeed and right boost bump. About 4 minutes later he shut down and feathered the left engine. The right tank was indicating 1/4 full. About 3 minutes later, the right engine fuel pressure dropped. The pilot stated that he then switched tanks and the right engine fuel pressure increased twice. He then landed the airplane following a loss of engine power on both engines on Lake Huron about 100 feet from shore and 14 miles from PHN.

Inspection of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed the left fuel tank was empty, about one gallon of fuel was drained from the right wing outboard fuel drain and about one gallon of fuel was drained from the right wing inboard fuel drain. The fuel selectors were in their respective inboard fuel tank positions and the crossfeed selector was in the off position. Both auxiliary engine fuel pump switches were in the on position, both engine magnetos for both engine were in the on position, and the master switch was in the on position. The mixture controls were the full forward position, the propeller controls were in the feather position, and the throttles were in the full forward position.

NTSB Probable Cause

The fuel exhaustion during cruise flight, the inadequate in-flight planning/decision by the pilot, and the unsuitable terrain encountered by the pilot during the forced landing.

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