NTSB Identification: FTW96LA328.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 20, 1996 in SANTA FE, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/1996
Aircraft: Cessna T210L, registration: N210RE
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After a cross country flight of 3 hours and 25 minutes, the airplane was on the base leg for landing when the engine lost power. During the ensuing forced landing on a road, the left wing struck a road sign, and the airplane departed the road and collided with a wire fence. About 2 hours and 45 minutes into the flight, the pilot noted that the left fuel quantity indicator was indicating a low fuel quantity. The pilot stated that he discounted the low fuel quantity indication since he had visually confirmed both tanks were full prior to departure, and he elected to continue the flight. The fuel selector was found positioned on the right tank, and 1 quart of fuel was drained from the right tank. The left fuel tank was ruptured; the fuel quantity could not be determined. No evidence of fuel leakage was found on the lower or upper wing surfaces, the aircraft belly, or inside the engine compartment. Six months prior to the accident, the fuel gauges had been calibrated to ensure that they indicated empty when the fuel tanks were empty.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's improper decision to continue the flight after noting the low fuel quantity indication, which resulted in fuel starvation before reaching the airport. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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