Saturday, March 30, 2019

Cessna T210N Centurion, N6988N, accident occurred April 15, 2018 near Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (KCOS), El Paso County, Colorado


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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

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


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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N6988N



Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Accident Number: CEN18LA142
Date & Time: 04/15/2018, 1250 MDT
Registration: N6988N
Aircraft: CESSNA T210N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The airline transport pilot reported that, as the flight neared the destination airport, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot switched from the left fuel tank to the right tank and turned the auxiliary boost pump on, which restored engine power momentarily. Shortly thereafter, the engine again experienced a total loss of power and the pilot performed a forced landing.

Postaccident examination revealed no useable fuel in the left tank, an estimated 20 to 25 gallons in the right tank, and no evidence of fuel contamination. Examination and test run of the engine revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Although the turbocharger manifold exhibited a crack around its circumference, the crack would not have appreciably degraded engine performance at the altitude at which the airplane was flying when the loss of power occurred. Given the lack of fuel in the left wing tank and the fact that the engine operated without anomalies during postaccident testing, it is likely that the loss of engine power was the result of fuel starvation due to the pilot's mismanagement of the available fuel.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate in-flight fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)

Personnel issues
Use of equip/system - Pilot (Cause)
Incorrect action performance - Pilot (Cause)



Factual Information


On April 15, 2018, at 1048 mountain daylight time, a Cessna T210N airplane, N6988N, lost engine power while approaching the City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS), Colorado Springs, Colorado. The pilot made a forced landing in residential area 3 miles north of the airport. During the landing, the airplane struck an embankment and was substantially damaged. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. Another passenger received a serious injury. The airplane was registered to CAG International, Inc., and operated by Elite Aviation, Longmont, Colorado, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Vance Brand Airport (LMO), Longmont, Colorado, about 1000, and was destined for COS.

According to the pilot's accident report, he was at 9,500 feet msl (mean sea level) and was being vectored for landing at COS when the engine lost power. He switched from the left fuel tank to the right fuel tank and turned the auxiliary boost pump on. Engine power was restored. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost power again. The fuel flow gauge indicated zero, and the fuel pressure gauge was intermittent. The pilot extended full flaps and the airplane ballooned over an embankment, landed hard, bounced over a median and struck a guard rail. Post-accident examination revealed no fuel in the left tank. An estimated 20 to 25 gallons was drained from the right tank. No contamination was noted.

On April 24, the airplane was examined at the facilities of Beegles Aircraft Service in Greeley, Colorado. The Federal Aviation Administration and Continental Motors were in attendance. The top spark plugs, although dark in color, were oil-free. The engine was rotated manually, and thumb compression was achieved on each cylinder. No binding was noted, and crankshaft and camshaft continuity was confirmed. Spark was noted at all top ignition leads when the engine was manually rotated. The fuel hose between the engine driven fuel pump and the engine fuel manifold contained no fuel. Fuel was found in the hose to the fuel flow indicator on the instrument panel. The airframe fuel strainer was full of fuel. The screen was clear of any contamination. the turbo compressor wheel was undamaged, and the compressor wheel rotated smoothly.

The engine was shipped to Continental Motors, Mobile, Alabama, and was examined on June 20 and 21. When the turbocharger was removed from the engine, evidence of hot gas seepage was noted on the manifold. A crack had developed and had propagated almost completely around the base of the flange. Another manifold was installed and on June 22, the engine functionally tested in a test cell. No anomalies were noted. 

History of Flight

Enroute-descent
Fuel starvation (Defining event)

Emergency descent
Off-field or emergency landing

Landing-landing roll
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)



Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
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; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/11/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/01/2017
Flight Time:   5174 hours (Total, all aircraft), 137 hours (Total, this make and model), 3186 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 45 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 23, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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: 08/11/2011
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  30 hours (Total, all aircraft), 5 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N6988N
Model/Series: T210N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: T21063197
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/15/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 17 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5305 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-R
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Fly Elite Aviation
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCOS, 6187 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1054 MDT
Direction from Accident Site: 170°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 9000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Clear Air
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Light
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Longmont, CO (KLMO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Colorado Springs, CO (KCOS)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory; VFR
Departure Time: 1245 MDT
Type of Airspace:  Air Traffic Control; Class C; Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: City of Colorado Springs Muni. (KCOS)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 6187 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 11022 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Straight-in 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  38.805833, 104.700833 (est)

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