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N4159V accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Sandy Hook, NJ
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Tail number N4159V
Accident date 24 Jul 2001
Aircraft type Piper PA-32R-301T
Additional details: None
No position found

NTSB Factual Report

On July 24, 2001, about 2130 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-301T, N4159V, was substantially damaged while ditching in the Atlantic Ocean about 25 miles southeast of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Essex County Airport (CDW), Caldwell, New Jersey, about 1915. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

While driving to the airport, the pilot telephoned the fixed base operator and requested that the fuel tanks be "topped off." The pilot then flew from CDW to Block Island State Airport (BID), Rhode Island. Before reaching BID, the pilot switched the fuel selector handle from "RIGHT" to "LEFT", and performed one practice instrument approach to runway 28. After the approach, he flew to the East Hampton VOR, and then along victor route 139 (V139) toward Robert J. Miller Airport (MJX), Toms River, New Jersey. While en route at 4,500 feet msl, near the PLUME intersection, the engine lost all power. The pilot turned toward the nearest airport, transmitted an emergency distress message on 121.5 Mhz, and attempted an engine restart using the emergency procedures. The pilot was unable to restart the engine, and he ditched in the Atlantic Ocean.

After approximately 5-7 minutes in the water, the airplane sank. The pilot was rescued, but due to the depth of water in which the airplane sank, the insurance company did not recover the wreckage.

The pilot added that there was no sputtering or roughness with the engine prior to the total loss of engine power. He further stated that he had plenty of fuel on board, and usually burned 17-18 gallons-per-hour in cruise flight at 4,500 feet msl. Fueling records revealed that 75.6 gallons of 100LL were added to the accident airplane on the day of the accident. The airplane was equipped with two fuel tanks, one in each wing, and each tank consisted of two fuel cells. The total fuel capacity of the airplane was 107 gallons, of which, 102 gallons were useable.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

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