Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cessna T210N Centurion, N91HC, Aircraft Guaranty Corp: Accident occurred November 19, 2015 at Brackett Field Airport (KPOC), La Verne, Los Angeles County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Registered Owner: Aircraft Guaranty Corp

Operator: Aircraft Guaranty Corp

http://registry.faa.gov/N91HC



NTSB Identification: WPR16LA030 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 19, 2015 in La Verne, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA T210N, registration: N91HC
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 19, 2015, about 1335 Pacific standard time, a Cessna T210N Centurion, N91HC, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with a sign while the pilot was making an emergency approach to land at Brackett Field, La Verne, California. Aircraft Guaranty Corp was the registered owner and was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The aerial surveying personal flight originated from Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California about 0910 and the pilot had intended to land back at that airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot stated that he was an airplane mechanic for his profession, but had been down in southern California for the previous two days helping doing an aerial surveying job. Earlier in the morning he had the fuel tanks filled to maximum capacity and flew his intended route down in the San Diego area. As he began to return back to the destination airport, he recalled having 15 gallons of fuel on board, which the JP Instrument (JPI) gauge indicated equated to about 40 minutes of flight time. About 1325 he began to descend from his en route altitude of about 13,500-14,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and opted to land at Brackett due to the airplane's low fuel quantity.

Before landing, the pilot switched to the fullest tank (left side) which showed about 6-7 gallons and the right side had about 4-5 gallons. While on final approach, the engine suddenly lost power and despite his attempts, he was unable to successfully have it restart. With the propeller wind milling he aligned with the closest runway and configured the airplane for the best glide. The left wing suddenly impacted a sign that he did not previously observe and the airplane dove toward the ground. The pilot egressed through the windshield and shortly thereafter, the airplane erupted in flames. The airplane came to rest about 620 feet east of runway 26R.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided the audio recording of the Brackett Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication with the pilot. The pilot made his initial radio call about 1330 stating that he was inbound to land and had the current ATIS (Automated Terminal Information System) information. The tower instructed him to enter the right base leg of the traffic pattern for runway 26L. After reading back the controller's instructions, the pilot stated that he was "quite low on fuel." The tower cleared the pilot to land on runway 26L at 1335 and he acknowledged. After about one minute and 15 seconds, the pilot transmitted that he was now requesting to land on runway 26R. About 5-10 seconds after the pilot made a radio call reading back his amended clearance, the airplane impacted the sign.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The airplane, a Cessna Aircraft T210N, serial number 64441, was equipped with a Continental Motors TSIO-520-R engine, serial number 512148. The operator provided excerpts from the engine logbooks that included the last maintenance performed. The records indicated that the last annual inspection was recorded as being completed in May 2015 at a tachometer time of 6,788.6 hours and a total airframe time of 10,862.5 hours; the tachometer time at the time of the accident was 5,435 hours, or about 35 hours after the maintenance.

A fuel consumption calculation prepared by a Cessna Aircraft Company representative (contained in the public docket for this accident) showed that the airplane should have had about 21 gallons of fuel on board at the time of the accident, assuming that the airplane was filled to maximum capacity (89 gallons) prior to departure, as reported by the pilot. According to the pilot, the airplane climbed to about 14,000 ft msl and cruised at about 13,600 msl at an average speed of 165 kts. According to the Cessna Aircraft Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) for the airplane, to maintain that airspeed, the engine would be operating at 2,400 rpm and 24 inches of manifold pressure. Based on this assumption, with the airplane configured at a gross weight of 3,7000 lbs, the fuel consumption to reach the cruising altitude would be about 44.5 lbs and the consumption during cruise flight would be about 81 lbs per hour. With the engine operating about 4 hours and 20 minutes, this would equate to a total fuel consumption of 68 gallons.

The pilot stated that he was averaging about 18 gallons per hour and should have had enough fuel to make it to the runway. He estimated that he was airborne for about 4 hours and 20 minutes and he recalled that in the past, the airplane could fly for 4.7 hours. He thought there might have been a fuel starvation event but didn't know what the reason would be.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A post accident examination was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and a mechanic. The airplane had been disassembled during the recovery process and the center fuselage section was consumed by fire. A complete examination report with accompanying photographs are in the public docket for this accident.

The left wing was separated from the airframe and only a small outboard section remained; the rest was consumed by fire. The right wing was partially burned and remained loosely attached to the airframe at the accident site; the Monarch-style fuel cap was secure. The wreckage retrieval personnel recovered 2 gallons and 1 quart of fuel from the right wing and stated that there was water in the sample. He noted that foam had been used to extinguish the fire and could not determine if the water was present because of the foam.

The fuel system had been severely compromised by the fire and investigators were unable to establish continuity from the wing through the fuselage to the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel selector was found, and removed from the deformed cabin area; post crash fire precluded it from turning.

An external examination of the engine revealed that cylinder fins and outer cooling fins were crushed and bent on the left side of the engine. After the spark plugs had been removed the cylinder heads were bore-scoped with no internal cylinder anomalies identified during that internal inspection. The exhaust system was observed to have sustained ductile bending and crushing aft of the turbo-charger. The turbo-charger exhibited no apparent damage and rotated freely by hand.

The ignition harnesses were attached from both magnetos to their respective spark plugs. The magnetos remained securely attached to their respective mounts. Investigators removed the right magneto and tested the internal continuity via hand rotation which produced spark. The top spark plugs were removed; no mechanical damage was noted and the electrodes and posts exhibited no abnormal or remarkable color markings. Continuity of the fuel system could not be established due to the post crash fire.

The Hartzell propeller blades were observed attached to their hub assemblies, which were attached to the propeller shaft flange. The propeller blades were torsionally twisted and exhibited an "S" bend.

There was no evidence of mechanical malfunction or failure with the airframe or engine.



NTSB Identification: WPR16LA030 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 19, 2015 in La Verne, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA T210N, registration: N91HC
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 19, 2015, about 1335 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna T210N Centurion, N91HC, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with a sign while the pilot was making an emergency approach to Brackett Field, La Verne, California. Aircraft Guaranty Corp was the registered owner and was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The aerial surveying flight originated from Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California, about 0910, and the pilot had intended land back at that airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot stated that he was an airplane mechanic for his profession, but had been down in southern California for the previous 2 days helping doing an aerial surveying job. Earlier in the morning, he had the fuel tanks filled to maximum capacity and flew his intended route down in the San Diego area. As he began to return back to the destination airport, he recalled having 15 gallons of fuel on board, which the JP Instrument (JPI) gauge indicated equated to about 40 minutes of flight time. About 1325 he began to descend from his en route altitude of about 13,500-14,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and opted to land at Brackett due to the airplane's low fuel quantity.

Before landing, the pilot switched to the fullest tank (left side), which showed about 6-7 gallons and the right side had about 4-5 gallons. While on final approach, the engine suddenly lost power and despite his attempts, he was unable to successfully have it restart. With the propeller windmilling he aligned toward the closest runway and configured the airplane for the best glide. Suddenly the left wing impacted a sign that he did not previously observe and dove toward the ground. The pilot egressed through the windshield and shortly thereafter, the airplane erupted in flames. The airplane came to rest about 620 feet east of runway 26R and was consumed by fire.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided the audio recording of the Brackett Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication with the pilot. The pilot made his initial radio call about 1330 stating that he was inbound to land and had the current ATIS (Automated Terminal Information System) information. The tower instructed him to enter the right base leg of the traffic pattern for runway 26L. After reading back the controller's instructions, the pilot stated that he was "quite low on fuel." The tower cleared the pilot to land on runway 26L at 1335, and he acknowledged. After about 1 minute and 15 seconds, the pilot transmitted that he was now requesting to land on runway 26R. About 5-10 seconds after the pilot made a radio call reading back his amended clearance, the airplane impacted the sign.

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