Sunday, October 21, 2018

Cessna 210, N7330E: Accident occurred September 20, 2017 at Sacramento Executive Airport (KSAC), Sacramento 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; Sacramento, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Sacramento, CA
Accident Number: WPR17LA210
Date & Time: 09/20/2017, 1314 PDT
Registration: N7330E
Aircraft: CESSNA 210
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 20, 2017, at 1314 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 210F airplane, N7330E, sustained substantial damage to the left horizontal stabilizer after the main landing gear collapsed during the landing roll at Sacramento Executive Airport, Sacramento, California. The private pilot and passenger, who held a flight instructor certificate, were not injured. The airplane had just been purchased by the private pilot, and at the time of the accident was registered to the previous owner. The airplane was being operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight.

Both occupants provided differing accounts of their operational roles during the flight. The pilot, who was seated in the left seat, stated shortly after the accident that this was his first flight in the airplane, and that it was his understanding that it would be a training flight. The instructor had no previous experience flying the Cessna 210 series and stated that he had explicitly explained to both the pilot and the pilot's mechanic (who had arranged for the two to fly together), that he would not be operating the airplanes controls or providing instruction, and that he was simply acting as an observer.

The pilot stated that his intention was to perform a flight in the traffic pattern and then perform a touch-and-go landing. He reported that the flight was uneventful, and that he flew the airplane during the takeoff and landing approach legs, and that the instructor operated the landing gear handle, and was assisting with the flight controls during the landing roll. He stated that prior to landing, he visually confirmed the landing gear had extended by viewing them through the gear mirrors. Shortly after landing, the airplane began to shake and then after traveling about 100 ft, veered left. He immediately applied right rudder and felt the instructor was doing the same. The airplane then dropped onto its belly.

The pilot did not complete an National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report Form 6120.1, provide any further updates to his statement, or respond to multiple requests to clarify the circumstances of the accident.

The instructor provided an extensive statement, reporting that the mechanic who had approached him to fly requested that he be especially vigilant that the landing gear was down and locked before landing. The instructor reiterated in the statement that he did not manipulate any controls until the airplane began to veer off the runway, and that at no time did he operate the landing gear handle. The instructor reported that after the pilot extended the landing gear, he observed the green landing gear indicator light illuminate, and confirmed through the gear mirrors that they had extended.

Photographs taken shortly after the accident revealed that the nose gear was in the extended position, and both main landing gear had partially retracted, with their gear doors remaining open. The flaps appeared to be fully extended. A series of three black skid marks were observed on the runway, swerving from the centerline through to the airplane's final resting location just left of the runway edge. The outer width of the skids marks were about 34 inches. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/01/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 30, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1550 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N7330E
Model/Series: 210 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1959
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 57030
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/01/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5981.4 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CMI
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-470
Registered Owner: Robert Amarel
Rated Power: 260 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSAC, 25 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 193°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4300 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Sacramento, CA (SAC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Sacramento, CA (SAC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1310 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 23 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 20
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5503 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  38.512500, -121.493333 (est)

Tests And Research

Landing Gear Operation

The landing gear and flaps are extended and retracted by hydraulic actuators, powered by an engine-driven hydraulic pump and a pressure accumulator. The nose gear retracts forward and up, with its doors remaining open when the gear is extended. The main gear rotates aft and up into wells under the fuselage, with the doors remaining closed except during gear transition. Both the main and nose gear have positive mechanical up and down locks, operated by separate hydraulic actuators. Limit switches control two position indicator lights, which show that the gear is either up (red), or down and locked (green). The limit switches are connected in series, so that all three gears must be locked before either indicator light comes on. During the extension sequence, the nose landing gear locks into position before the main gear.

The landing gear is controlled by the pilot through a four-position gear handle. The handle positions are, "Up-Operating", "Up-Neutral", "Down-Neutral", and "Down-Operating". To reposition the gear, the handle is pulled out and moved to the desired operating position, then released. A detent holds the handle in the operating position until the cycle is completed, at which point the handle automatically returns to the cycle's respective neutral position. A safety switch, actuated by the nose gear strut, restricts the gear position handle to prevent inadvertent retraction whenever the nose strut is compressed by the weight of the airplane.

The instructor stated that he could not specifically recall if the gear handle was in the "Down-Neutral" or "Down-Operating" position, but that the mechanic, who was one of the first to arrive on scene, immediately entered the cabin, turned on the master switch, and moved the gear handle.

The mechanic provided a statement indicating that when he arrived at the airplane, the gear handle was in the "Down-Operating" position, and it was not until later when he lifted the airplane with a hoist that he turned on the airplanes master switch. As soon as he did, the gear completed its cycle, the gear handle moved to the "Down-Neutral" position, and the green indicator light came on.

Landing Gear Testing

The airplane was removed from the accident site and stored at the mechanic's shop, where it was mounted on jack stands and examined by an FAA inspector the following week. No mechanical anomalies were observed to the landing gear system, beyond damage to the gear doors. The gear was successfully extended and retracted multiple times utilizing the gear handle, and both the red and green gear position lights illuminated appropriately.

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA210
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 20, 2017 in Sacramento, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 210, registration: N7330E
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 September 20, 2017, at 1314 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 210F, N7330E, sustained substantial damage to the left horizontal stabilizer after the landing gear collapsed while landing at Sacramento Executive Airport, Sacramento, California. The private pilot and pilot rated passenger were not injured, the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot/owner under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. The local flight departed 1310. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane, and this was his first flight. His intention was to perform a flight in the traffic pattern and then a touch-and-go landing. He reported that the takeoff and flight were uneventful, and that the landing gear was extended during the downwind portion of the landing approach. The passenger stated that after the gear extended, he observed the green landing gear indicator illuminate, and both occupants reported visually confirming the gear had extended by viewing through the gear mirrors.

During the landing roll, the airplane began to veer to the left, and the passenger reached for the controls and attempted to apply right aileron and rudder inputs, however, the airplane then dropped onto its belly. Post-accident examination revealed that the main landing gear had partially collapsed into the wheel wells, and the nose gear remained extended.


  1. I'm not a pilot, but my son is. Could someone explain to me what the hell the purpose of 'Up-Neutral', or 'Down-Neutral' is for? It sounds like taking a simple gear-up/down to complexity that is completely un-necessary. For what? Maintenance?


  2. This sounds like a Mexican check ride. The airplane never had a chance. So long little buddy.

  3. On the early 210s, when you moved the gear handle to up or down, upon completion of the cycle, the handle would move to the neutral position. so there were 3 locations, Up. Down and Neutral.

  4. If you are a CFI and do not want to assume any responsibility, stay OUT of the aircraft. If you are a CFI and are a passenger in the aircraft, guess what, you are responsible and, your ass best be in one of the front seats – period!

  5. I'm a flight instructor and that's not how it is. You determine who the PIC will be before the flight. I've been on flights where I was the highest certificated pilot but didn't act as PIC.
    Now what if the instructor isn't current? ie: Flight instructor certificate is expired? You still have the certificate but it must be re-validated before use.
    A side note here: I can sign my own form 8710 to take the practical test to re-validate my certificate.

  6. av8rdav- That is how it is Sir. Your judgment skills are lacking. Being on flights where you were the highest certificated pilot but didn't act as PIC, you should have been. Also, was that in writing? Just wait until the lawyers delve into the situation. So, you get into the AC and the S_ _ t hits the fan, what are you going to do, just sit there? I’d hope not. BTW, when your CFI expires, you are no longer a CFI!! Please research your comments. Check the FAR's and with your FSDO. Will be time well spent--

  7. You are wrong. I still have a flight instructor certificate. In order to use it I need to re-validate it. Maybe you need to read the regs.

  8. BTW, judgement isn't a "skill". And you're in no place to judge. You can't. You don't know me.

  9. Just so you know I did sign my own 8710 to re-validate my certificate and the FAA examiner, not DE, accepted it without question.

  10. av8rdav- you must be "The Man". Watch yourself though, that other person is certainly on point! He/She states pretty important info/facts.

    skill = noun
    the ability to do something well; expertise. "difficult work, taking great skill"
    synonyms: expertise, skillfulness, expertness, ability, competence, capability, aptitude, artistry, virtuosity, talent "his skill as a pilot"

    ATP/CFI Air Carrier, 40+ years of uneventful flying.

  11. Big WHOOPS--

    §61.195 Flight instructor limitations and qualifications.
    (i) Prohibition against self-endorsements. A flight instructor shall not make any self-endorsement for a certificate, rating, flight review, authorization, operating privilege, practical test, or knowledge test that is required by this part.


  12. My point is a skill is something that can be taught. Judgement can not be taught.

  13. The early 210's (1960 to 1971) have a hydraulic gear system that has four (4) positions: UP (select for gear up), once the gear is up and locked the system will relieve pressure and the handle will go to UP NEUTRAL signifying that the doors made it up, DOWN (select for gear down), and once the gear is down and locked and the doors have gone back up the handle goes to DOWN NEUTRAL, which is where the system is once again relieving pressure.

    Neutral is not a position for these planes.

  14. Dave, your buds at the FAA don't think so; hence the ACS. I have always beat it into the student. After all, aviation is 95% judgement, you name the other 5 my friend.

  15. Never, ever, ever, ever let that CFI lapse. Ever!