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N3382Q accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 31.850000°N, 104.466667°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Artesia, NM
32.842334°N, 104.403296°W
68.7 miles away
Tail number N3382Q
Accident date 18 Mar 2010
Aircraft type Cessna 421B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 18, 2010, about 0800 mountain standard time, a Cessna 421B airplane, N3382Q, was substantially damaged following the loss of engine power during the approach to Artesia Municipal Airport (ATS), Artesia, New Mexico. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The business flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The cross-country flight departed El Paso, Texas, approximately 0715.

The commercial pilot stated he had filled both main and both auxiliary fuel tanks prior to a 2.7-hour flight. He estimated that this allowed for over 1.5 hours of fuel on board for the 39-minute accident flight. During the en route portion of the flight, the pilot switched the fuel tanks from the main fuel tanks to the auxiliary fuel tanks. During the descent to land, the pilot switched back to the main fuel tanks. While on short final the left engine quit, the airplane suddenly swerved to the left, and the descent rate increased. The pilot attempted a go around and switched from the main fuel tank to the auxiliary fuel tank. The airplane struck a wire and impacted in an open field, breaking the left wing spar and separating the right engine from the wing. A post impact fire ensued around the right engine.

During the postaccident examination of the wreckage, fuel was found in the right main tank and both auxiliary tanks. The left main tank was found intact and empty. The pilot stated that he did not feel that there was anything wrong with the airplane. No anomalies were found with the engines or other airplane systems.

NTSB Probable Cause

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's improper fuel management.

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