Fuel exhaustion Accident Cessna T210L N5177V,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 294180
 
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Date:Friday 14 January 2005
Time:18:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic C210 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna T210L
Owner/operator:Doug Snider
Registration: N5177V
MSN: 21060852
Year of manufacture:1975
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Yuba City, California -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Chico Airport, CA (CIC/KCIC)
Destination airport:Yuba City, CA (O52)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
During a 20-minute flight, the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion, and the pilot forced landed the airplane in a river. Prior to departure, the pilot noted that the left fuel tank gauge indicated less than 1/4 tank and the right fuel tank gauge indicated 1/4 tank of fuel. The pilot did not visually verify the fuel quantity in the tanks and departed using the right tank. The pilot climbed the airplane to 5,500 feet mean seal level and set the manifold pressure and rpm at 25 inches and 2,500 rpm, respectively. He then leaned the mixture to 30 degrees, lean of peak. During cruise flight, the pilot felt a drop in power and noticed a fluctuating fuel flow indication and almost 1/4 tank of fuel indicated on the right gauge. He switched to the left fuel tank, power was restored, and the fuel flow stabilized. While approaching to land at the nearest airport, the pilot extended the gear and set the flaps to the approach setting. Then, the engine began to lose power again and the fuel flow was fluctuating. He applied a full rich mixture, full forward on the throttle and the propeller. He also switched the fuel selector to the right tank and pitched the airplane's attitude for best glide speed. Because the airplane was about 1,500 feet above ground level and nearing the approach end of the runway, the pilot elected to perform a 360-degree turn in order to dissipate the airplane's altitude. As the airplane came through 270 degrees, he noted that the airplane was too low to land on the runway. After assessing his other landing options, the pilot elected to land the airplane in the river. He raised the gear and slowed the airplane to 80 miles per hour. Upon landing, the pilot egressed the airplane and swam to shore. The pilot felt that he should not have departed without refueling the airplane. The airplane had accumulated about 5 1/2 hours since its last refueling. The pilot said that he was planning on obtaining fuel from another airport in his city; however, a family member called requesting a ride from a nearby airport and he decided to refuel there instead. Performance calculations indicated that the usable fuel level would have been nearly depleted based on the flight profiles and times since the last refueling of the airplane.

Probable Cause: the pilot's inadequate preflight preparation and failure to verify the fuel supply, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and subsequent loss of engine power.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report

Sources:

NTSB LAX05LA068

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
10-Oct-2022 18:16 ASN Update Bot Added

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