NTSB Identification: DEN99FA034.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 20, 1999 in ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Cessna P210N, registration: N79NL
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported a dual vacuum pump failure while flying IFR at FL220. Despite having a standby electric artificial horizon, aircraft control was lost during the pilot's attempt to descend to 13,000 feet (reported cloud base). The airframe was overstressed and the right wing failed. Laboratory examination of the vacuum-driven gyroscopes disclosed no evidence of high rotation at impact. Both vacuum pumps bore signatures indicative of failure prior to impact. Not enough of the check valve manifold remained to determine its operational status.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Total failure of the vacuum system, and failure of the pilot to maintain aircraft control, resulting in wing spar failure. Factors were the pilot's spatial disorientation, and his exceeding the design stress limits of the airplane. Full narrative available
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