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N1221P accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 44.014167°N, 117.010278°W
Nearest city Ontario, OR
44.026553°N, 116.962938°W
2.5 miles away
Tail number N1221P
Accident date 04 Aug 2006
Aircraft type Piper PA-23-150
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On August 4, 2006, approximately 1430 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-23-150 multiengine airplane, N1221P, sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power in both engines, followed by a bounced landing and runway overrun at the Ontario Municipal Airport (ONO), Ontario, Oregon. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. The airline transport pilot and his three passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which was operated in accordance with 14 CFR Part 91, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed. The flight departed the Sweetwater County Airport (RKS), Rock Springs, Wyoming, at 1115, with its destination being ONO.

In a written statement and in a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the cross-country flight was planned from Wa Kenney, Kansas to Lewiston, Idaho, with scheduled fuel stops in Rock Springs, Wyoming and Ontario, Oregon. The pilot stated that after landing at Rock Springs he added 43 gallons of fuel for a total of 82 gallons; 36 gallons in each main tank and 5 gallons in each auxiliary wing tank. The pilot further stated that approximately 20 miles from the Ontario airport he noted that the fuel remaining in the main tanks was one-quarter full, with 5 gallons in each auxiliary tank. The pilot reported that he continued inbound, entered left downwind for Runway 14, and after lowering the landing gear he observed the gear lights displaying down and locked. The pilot stated that as he started to turn onto his base leg he noticed a vibration coming from the left side of the airplane, and as he proceeded toward the runway he observed the left propeller slowing down. The pilot further stated that when he attempted to lower the flaps and they didn't respond, this confirmed that the left engine had failed. The pilot reported that when he realized he was "high and fast" and needed to get the airplane on the runway, he attempted to force the airplane onto the runway, which resulted in several bounces. The pilot further reported that he finally made firm contact with the runway and started maximum braking before entering the overrun, going off the end of the runway and over an irrigation ditch before coming to rest upright in an onion field. There was no post-crash fire. The pilot stated that he didn't know where the fuel went, only that he encountered some high winds en route to his destination.

A Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness safety inspector, who traveled to the accident site, reported that an on-scene investigation of the airplane's four fuel tanks revealed that the right auxiliary, right main, and left main fuel tanks were empty, while the left auxiliary fuel tank had about 2 inches of fuel remaining. The inspector also reported that the right propeller was in the feathered position while the left propeller was in the unfeathered position; both of the engine's propeller control levers were in the feathered position. A subsequent inspection by the inspector after the aircraft was recovered failed to reveal any anomalies with the airplane which would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate inflight decision by failing to refuel while en route, resulting in fuel exhaustion and the loss of power. Factors were the en route high wind condition and the soft terrain.

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