NTSB Identification: MIA96LA193.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 22, 1996 in FORT MYERS, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 210L, registration: N1623X
Injuries: 2 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.

On final approach, the airplane's engine lost power, and a forced landing was made in a river about 2.5 miles from the runway. The recovery crew that had retrieved the airplane from the river, reported that they 'drained no fuel' from the airplane's fuel tanks. The only fluid that the recovery crew found in the fuel tanks was 'river water.' When the airplane was lifted from the river, the left wing fuel cap was missing, and the fuel selector valve was found positioned to the 'left' wing tank. The PIC (pilot-in-command) stated that he checked the fuel caps and fuel level during preflight inspection. However, the copilot indicated that the fuel level and caps were not adequately checked during the preflight, because 'there was nothing available for them to use to reach the top of the aircraft wing.' There were no other breaches found throughout the fuel system. The airplane's engine was operationally checked, and no discrepancies were found during the test run.

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

failure of the pilot (PIC) to ensure that an adequate preflight inspection was performed; a missing (or loose) fuel cap on the left wing; probable fuel siphoning; and fuel exhaustion, which resulted in a loss of engine power and a subsequent forced landing (ditching) in a river.

Full narrative available

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