Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Cessna P210N Pressurized Centurion, N4861P: Accident occurred May 17, 2019 in Yankeetown, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida


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

https://registry.faa.gov/N4861P

Location: Yankeetown, FL
Accident Number: CEN19LA147
Date & Time: 05/17/2019, 1515 EDT
Registration: N4861P
Aircraft: Cessna P210
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On May 17, 2019, about 1515 eastern daylight time, a Cessna P210N airplane, N4861P, ditched in the Gulf of Mexico after a loss of electrical power and engine power near Yankeetown, Florida. The private pilot sustained minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was owned by the pilot and operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The cross-country flight departed Sebastian Municipal Airport (X26), Sebastian, Florida, at 1330, and was destined for De Funiak Springs Airport (54J), De Funiak Springs, Florida.

The pilot reported that before the flight he verified the fuel quantity in each fuel tank with a calibrated dip tube and that the left and right fuel tanks contained about 30 gallons and 40 gallons, respectively. The pilot reported that he noted no anomalies with the airplane or the engine during his preflight check or before-takeoff engine runup. The pilot completed a normal takeoff, retracted flaps and the landing gear, and reduced engine power to 21 inches-of-manifold pressure and 2,400 rpm. The pilot also leaned the fuel mixture to yield a turbo inlet temperature of 1,300° Fahrenheit while at a cruise altitude of 2,500 ft mean sea level (msl).

About 1 hour into the flight, the pilot switched from the right fuel tank to the left fuel tank. The pilot stated that about 1 hour 45 minutes into the fight the airplane experienced a total loss of electrical power over the Gulf of Mexico at 2,500 ft msl. The pilot cycled the master power/alternator switch and verified that there were no tripped circuit breakers. The pilot was unable to restore electrical power and turned toward Crystal River Airport (CGC) for a precautionary landing. The pilot manually extended the landing gear using the emergency hand pump; however, because there was no electrical power, the down-and-locked green indicator light did not illuminate. The pilot reported that the engine continued to run normally after he selected the right fuel tank, increased fuel mixture to full rich, and selected maximum propeller speed. However, the airplane had a total loss of engine power about 1-2 minutes after he extended the landing gear. The pilot noted that the loss of engine power was sudden and without any warning.

The pilot stated that the propeller continued to windmill after the loss of engine power, but he did not switch back to the left fuel tank or attempt to restart the engine. The pilot ditched the airplane in the Gulf of Mexico about 5 miles offshore. The airplane initially stayed afloat after the ditching, but the fuselage eventually took on water and was partially submerged within 15 minutes. The airplane was not equipped with a life raft or life preservers. After the airplane had become submerged, the pilot was unable to swim fast enough to keep up with the drifting airplane. The pilot drifted and swam with the current and tide for over 11 hours until he came ashore an unpopulated barrier island around 0300 the following morning. The pilot stated that he was able to signal a fishing boat between 0600 and 0700 who contacted the United States Coast Guard. The pilot was retrieved from the barrier island about 0800 and admitted to a local hospital for treatment of severe dehydration. The airplane was subsequently recovered from the water and secured for future examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4861P
Model/Series: P210 N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Roger Ian Gerrard
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CGC, 9 ft msl
Observation Time: 1515 EDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Sebastian, FL (X26)
Destination: DeFuniak Spring, FL (54J) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 29.007778, -82.845000 (est)

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