Sunday, May 03, 2020

Cessna 210L Centurion, N210HH: Accident occurred April 28, 2020 in New Braunfels, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: New Braunfels, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA162
Date & Time: 04/28/2020, 0958 CDT
Registration: N210HH
Aircraft: Cessna 210
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 28, 2020, about 0958 central daylight time, a Cessna 210L airplane, N210HH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near New Braunfels, Texas. The private pilot sustained no injuries and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that he and a passenger departed on a flight about 0830 from the Midland Airpark, near Midland, Texas, and were en route to the New Braunfels Regional Airport, near New Braunfels, Texas, (BAZ). He stated that he had performed the standard pre-flight checks, including confirming the airplane had about 70 gallons of fuel for the flight. The weather vendor that he used indicated marginal visual flight rules conditions with a ceiling of about 2,900 ft.

The flight cruised about 7,500 ft. The pilot started a descent early to remain clear of the clouds. While enroute the pilot checked the weather again at BAZ. There were broken clouds below 3,900 ft with a ceiling of about 3,500 ft. When the pilot called the BAZ air traffic control tower, he was advised that the ceiling was lower. The weather conditions required him to file an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The pilot stated that he could not file an IFR flight plan with BAZ and that he needed to file a flight plan on an approach frequency.

The frequency he was given could not receive the pilot at first. However, the pilot was subsequently able to file a flight plan. He discussed the approach type with an approach controller. The pilot first opted for visual approach, but then changed to area navigation (RNAV) approach for runway 17. The approach controller cleared the flight to a fix on the RNAV 17 approach and a climb to 3,000 ft. The pilot programed the RNAV 17 approach in the GPS and headed to the assigned fix. He started a climb to 3,000 ft and entered clouds shortly thereafter.

During the climb, the pilot noticed that airspeed was bleeding off. He could not get more power to the engine even though the engine was still turning. The pilot performed an emergency checklist while attempting to maintain airspeed and altitude. He advanced the throttle forward, advanced mixture full forward, turned the fuel pump on, and tried both left and right fuel tanks. He decided to initiate a descent to an altitude where he could see the ground and get out of the clouds.

The pilot continued with emergency checklists, including selecting the fullest tank, activating the auxiliary fuel pump, and the ignition switch stayed on. However, he was unable to get an increase in engine power. The engine remained at 2,500 RPM, and it did not increase, decrease, or surge during the emergency period.

Upon exiting the clouds, the pilot slowed the descent down and evaluated the options he had for an emergency landing. He realized that he was over a neighborhood and needed to stretch the flight path out to a more suitable location to avoid people and structures. The pilot made the decision to land in a field at the end of Canyon Lake, knowing that if he came up short, he could opt for the lake. He made a call to approach letting them know that he would be making an emergency landing on a field. The pilot realized that the flight would not make the field due to tall trees on the bank, and he decided to fly to the left and land on the water.

The pilot picked a spot in the lake that was clear of boats and trees. Upon reaching a few feet above the water, the pilot "killed the motor," flared to bleed off speed, and kept the airplane's nose up. The landing gear was intentionally retracted. The pilot and passenger subsequently swam to the shore once the airplane stopped in the lake.

The airplane wreckage was recovered from the lake and has been retained for detailed examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N210HH
Model/Series: 210 L
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Crosstrees Investments Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBAZ, 645 ft msl
Observation Time: 0951 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 800 ft agl
Visibility:  6 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Midland, TX (MDD)
Destination: New Braunfels, TX (BAZ) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.867778, -98.275833 (est)

Investigators are looking into what caused the crash of a single-engine plane, which lost power before it skidded into Canyon Lake Tuesday morning.

First responders quickly arrived at the scene of the accident, which happened at a cove near the Westhaven subdivision on the south side of the lake around 10 a.m.

“The call came in from the 100 block of Canteen in Canyon Lake,” said Jennifer Smith, Comal County Sheriff’s Office public information officer. “A small Cessna plane was found submerged under the water, with the two occupants able to swim to shore.”

Smith said the men were flying from Midland to New Braunfels Regional Airport.

Visiting from Dallas, Ed Sanford, touring his old neighborhood with his girlfriend Lisa Wyatt, said they saw a plane flying low across the peninsula leading into the cove.

“It seemed like it was sputtering a bit,” he said of the plane. “It disappeared under the tree line but it came back up before it made a loud bang when it hit the water.

“I’m no pilot, but he did well. It looked like he was trying to avoid going into the neighborhood, where there’s houses everywhere.”

Standing from Tom’s Creek, Sanford called 9-1-1 while Wyatt took a photo before the plane submerged.

“We watched for a few seconds and then saw two heads and come up from out of the water,” Sanford said. “We yelled at other people to help — we’re just glad to hear they’re OK.”

Robert Mikel, Canyon Lake Fire & EMS assistant fire chief, said one of the men, both in their late 30s or early 40s, had non-life threatening injuries. He said a ground ambulance transported both men to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital-New Braunfels. No word was immediately available on the condition of the injured man.

“We responded to a plane that went into the lake after it apparently lost power,” Mikel said. “Both of the men were already on the shore; one had minor injuries but both were taken to the hospital.”

Mikel said the plane was completely submerged “15 to 18 feet” under the lake.

“We had our fireboat out there looking for any kind of leaky fluids but couldn’t find any,” he said. “We did mark the site for the DPS and FAA; we were out there under an hour.”

Smith said officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife were investigating the accident. She said Federal Aviation Administration investigators were en route to the scene and the U.S. Corps of Engineers had also been notified.

CANYON LAKE, Texas – A small white plane crashed into Canyon Lake Tuesday, April 28th after the pilot made an emergency landing, officials said.

Viewer video submitted to KSAT12 shows the plane in the water near Boat Ramp No. 6 on the south side of the lake, which is located northeast of New Braunfels.

Comal County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jennifer Smith told KSAT that two adult males swam to shore and were transported by EMS to Christus Santa Rosa with non-life threatening injuries.

Smith confirmed the pair were traveling from Midland to New Braunfels.

Ed Sanford, a witness to the crash, told the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung that the plane “disappeared under the tree line but it came back up before it made a loud bang when it hit the water... It looked like he was trying to avoid going into the neighborhood, where there’s houses everywhere.”

Vickie Monroe, who lives in the area, spoke with KSAT Tuesday afternoon saying she was outside when the crash occurred but didn’t hear anything. “I’m surprised I didn’t hear it because my neighbors said it was a loud crash.”

Monroe told KSAT she and a contractor who was at her home “took off running and by the time we got there the two guys were sitting on the shore. One guy seemed really dazed and confused.”

“It sounded like a huge, very loud door slam,” said Cynthia Graham, another neighbor who was in the area at the time of the crash, in an interview with KSAT. “I saw one man crawling on his hands and knees and another man fully clothed on the shore.”

Graham said two men were helping the man who was crawling and that he appeared to have a large gash on his head.

Canyon Lake Fire officials told Canyon Lake Texas News that the plane is submerged in 15-18 feet of water.

A yellow buoy tied to the submerged plane is the only thing visible from shore, Monroe said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

One man was hospitalized after a small plane crashed into Canyon Lake on Tuesday, April 28th.

First responders were called to the area near the Westhaven subdivision in Comal County at around 10 a.m. after the aircraft lost power and crashed into the lake, said Robert Mikel, assistant chief for Canyon Lake Fire and EMS.

"When we got there, the plane was completely sunk and the two men had been able to make it to the shore," Mikel said.

One man had minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital and a second man was unhurt, Mikel said

The plane was traveling from Midland in west Texas to the New Braunfels Regional Airport.

Crews took a fire boat out onto the lake to check for any leaking fluids, but there were none, Mikel said. The scene was then turned over to the Texas Department and Safety and Federal Aviation Administration for an investigation.

Two people escaped without serious injury when their small plane crashed into Canyon Lake near the Westhaven subdivision around 10 a.m. this morning.

The passengers were transported to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa in New Braunfels with non-life-threatening injuries.

Comal County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Jennifer Smith said the small plane is believed to be a Cessna. The plane is submerged. Its pilot and passenger swam to shore near county-operated Boat Ramp #6.

The plane was enroute from Midland to New Braunfels Regional Airport.

The crash is being investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Westhaven resident Skip Smith said those who witnessed the crash said the plane appeared to be flying low over FM 2673 before it lost power, turned and crashed into the lake. A neighbor helped two passengers — believed to be men — out of the water and up to the ambulance, which had difficulty accessing the area.

Brian Fricker with the FAA said they received a distress call from the two men in the plane, who reported problems but lost communication with the aircraft.

Smith said the lake is between 10- to 12-feet deep in that area.

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