NTSB Identification: FTW97LA037.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 05, 1996 in GRAND PRAIRIE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/01/1997
Aircraft: Cessna T210N, registration: N6546N
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.

The purpose of his flight was to reposition the airplane from the Grand Prairie Airport to the Arlington Airport, about 7 miles to the southwest. The pilot stated that during the preflight, he could not locate a ladder to visually check the quantity of fuel, so he elected to rely on the fuel gages, which were reading above 1/4 full. The flight departed Grand Prairie VFR; however, the pilot was unable to land at the Arlington Airport due to localized instrument conditions in the vicinity of the airport. He elected to return to Grand Prairie and wait for the weather to improve. During a turn from base to final approach for runway 17, the engine lost power without warning. The pilot reported that after losing power, he 'did a brief checklist, but because of [the low] altitude, he had to choose a landing spot quickly.' The airplane touched down in a parking lot, overran the end of the parking lot, and impacted trees and bushes. During examination of the airplane at the site, 15 gallons of fuel were drained from the compromised left tank. The right fuel cell, which was not compromised, was found to be empty. During a post-accident engine run, the engine performed within limits.

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

failure of the pilot to ensure that the fuel selector was positioned to a tank with sufficient fuel, which resulted in fuel starvation and loss of engine power. Factors relating to the accident were: the pilot's inadequate preflight, false indication from the right fuel quantity gauge, and the lack of suitable terrain in the forced landing area.

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