Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cessna 310R, N553CM: Accident occurred October 04, 2018 at Desert Mountain Ranch, Marathon, Brewster County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Marathon, TX
Accident Number: GAA19CA004
Date & Time: 10/04/2018, 1920 CDT
Registration: N553CM
Aircraft: Cessna 310
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Wildlife encounter (non-bird)
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, during landing on a private dirt airstrip on his ranch, the airplane collided with a cow. The pilot added that he did not see the cow during the approach or on the runway during touchdown.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and right engine mounts.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/14/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/29/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 6000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 350 hours (Total, this make and model), 5100 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N553CM
Model/Series: 310 R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 310R0169
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/04/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5501 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7149 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO 520 A2B
Registered Owner: Cessna 205 Llc
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: Cessna 205 Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: K6R6, 2322 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 62°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 100°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lago Vista, TX (RYW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Marathon, TX (PVT)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1800 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Desert Mountain Ranch (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 2800 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.823333, -102.690556 (est)


  1. Recommend visual inspection prior to landing, I see a lot of pilots that do not do this.

  2. Could it be said that the aircraft hit a Jersey Barrier

  3. Look on the bright side, everyone at the airport is going to be treated to a steak dinner!

  4. This sounds like a lot of bull!