May 7, San Diego, Calif. / Cessna T303 Crusader


At 23:30 PDT, a Cessna T303 ditched into San Diego Bay when it lost power in both engines during a missed approach to runway 27 at Lindbergh Field. Neither occupant was injured in the ditching. The airplane had departed from Houston, Texas, and was destined for San Diego. The owner, who was not PIC during the flight, said he and his companion planned to stop at Gila Bend, Ariz., for fuel but learned when they got there that fuel was unavailable. The other pilot landed at a nearby private airstrip and they arranged for someone to buy fuel at a third airport and transport it to the private airfield. They put in approximately 63 gallons of fuel and a sump check showed the fuel free of sediment or water. He said they limited their fuel purchase because the airstrip was less than 2,000 feet long and they wanted to be sure they could take off. En route to San Diego, they requested a clearance into Lindbergh when they discovered instrument conditions existed. He said that when they received their IFR clearance, they had 1:30 to 1:40 hours of fuel left. They flew the localizer runway 27 approach first but broke out above the runway and were unable to make a landing. They were instructed to fly the missed approach. During the missed, the engines quit. The PIC was hospitalized two days later and died shortly thereafter. The medical examiner said he died of coronary disease and that there was no trauma whatsoever from the accident.


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