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Advised The Tower That He Could Not Make It To The Airport
Location: Naples, FL Accident Number: ERA21LA087
Date & Time: December 19, 2020, 12:16 Local Registration: N662TC
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-310P Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal
On December 19, 2020, about 1216 eastern standard time, a piper PA-46-310 airplane; N662TC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Naples, Florida. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
The flight originated at Sarasota / Bradenton international Airport (SRQ), Sarasota, Florida destined for Key West International Airport (EYW), Key West, Florida.
According to the pilot, on the morning of the day of the accident, the pilot and his passenger went to SRQ. The pilot filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan for the flight to EYW, and had the airplane towed to the fixed base operator’s ramp, then conducted a preflight including draining both tanks to check for water. No water was visible, and both fuel tanks contained about 50 gallons each (100 gallons total).
The fuel selector was on the right tank, and the engine started without any delay. The pilot then received his IFR clearance and took off at 1139.
After takeoff the pilot was cleared by air traffic control to climb to 7,000 feet above mean sea level (msl) and the flight continued until it was near Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), Fort Myers, Florida and then was cleared direct to EYW. Until this point, the engine was running smooth and was leaned to 50° lean of peak. About 1213, the pilot switched the fuel selector to the left fuel tank. Immediately after switching fuel tanks, the engine started to sputter and lost power. The pilot switched back to the right fuel tank but there was no change. He then tried different power settings, Set the mixture to full rich, and switched tanks again without result.
The pilot then advised ATC that he was having an engine problem and needed to land at the nearest airport. ATC then had him contact the control tower at Naples municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. APF tower then cleared him to land on runway 5 but, the pilot realized that he was already well below 5,000 feet msl, so he advised the tower that he could not make
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