During the transpacific flight, the Cirrus SR22 pilot was unable to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks.
Despite multiple attempts to troubleshoot the fuel system issue, he was unable to correct the situation.
After transferring fuel from the forward auxiliary fuel tank to both main fuel tanks, he estimated that there was only enough fuel in the main tanks to reach within about 200 miles of land, so he decided to divert to a nearby cruise ship.
Once the airplane was in the immediate vicinity of the cruise ship, he activated the airplane’s parachute system, the parachute deployed, and the plane descended under the canopy into the ocean near Maui, Hawaii.
He immediately exited the airplane and inflated an emergency life raft; he was recovered from the water a short time later.
The airplane subsequently became submerged in the water and was not recovered.
The reason for the pilot’s inability to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks could not be determined.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s inability to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane was ditched and not recovered.
NTSB Identification: WPR15LA089
This January 2015 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.