Thursday, July 14, 2022

Fuel Starvation: Cessna T210L Turbo Centurion, N94001; accident occurred March 14, 2022 near General William J. Fox Airfield Airport (KWJF), Lancaster, Los Angeles County, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lancaster, California
Accident Number: WPR22LA126
Date and Time: March 14, 2022, 12:58 Local
Registration: N94001
Aircraft: Cessna T210L 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot in the retractable landing gear-equipped airplane reported that about 700 ft agl, he initiated a descending right turn for landing. The pilot attempted to lower the landing gear however, the landing gear would not extend even after troubleshooting the problem. The pilot recalled that the mixture was rich, the propeller was set to maximum rpm, and full throttle was applied when he aborted the landing, but there was no corresponding response from the engine. The propeller began to windmill, and he attempted to troubleshoot the total loss of engine power by moving the fuel selector from the right tank position to the left tank position and engaged the starter to no avail. During the forced landing, the empennage struck a barbed wire fence short of the runway, and the airplane came to a stop upright.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage and horizontal stabilizer. The pilot reported there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The post-accident examination revealed that the right-wing fuel tank was empty, and the left-wing fuel tank contained seven gallons of fuel.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power due to the pilot’s inadequate fuel management which resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent collision with a fence during landing.


Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Aircraft Fuel - Fluid level
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Effect on equipment

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach Fuel starvation (Defining event)
Approach Loss of engine power (total)
Landing Off-field or emergency landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial
Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: BasicMed With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 15, 2022
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 2, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 14750 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1305 hours (Total, this make and model), 10000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Pilot-rated passenger Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight engineer
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-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): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 31, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 20000 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N94001
Model/Series: T210L 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 21060478
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 20, 2021 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6194 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520H
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 285 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KWJF, 2338 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:56 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 91°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 130° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lancaster, CA 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lancaster, CA 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: General William J Fox Airfield KWJF
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2350 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 06 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7201 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.741056,-118.21863 (est)

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