NTSB Identification: LAX99FA038.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 21, 1998 in OAKLAND, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/2000
Aircraft: Cessna T210L, registration: N9222T
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 and passenger departed on a cross-country flight. The flight reached the destination airport; however, due to fog and low stratus clouds the pilot diverted to another airport for lunch. On the return trip air traffic control (ATC) observed an unidentified aircraft circle a coliseum in class 'B' airspace during a major football game. Two pilot witnesses at the game observed the same make and model airplane over the coliseum 500/700 feet above ground level near the accident time. It then proceeded towards another major airport located in class 'C' airspace when the transponder was observed to quit operating about 5 miles from that airport. The airplane was then tracked as a primary target until radar contact was lost. The accident airplane crashed into a high school cafeteria about 2.25 miles northeast of Oakland International Airport. Two witness statements were obtained from persons at the Castlemont School. One reported hearing the engine cutting on and off as he watched it collide with the building. The other witness heard no engine sound and also watched it collide with the building. The pilot stated that his passenger had gotten into the rear seat while in-flight to photograph the coliseum football game. The passenger was not wearing a seat belt and neither wore shoulder harnesses at the time of accident. The last thing that the pilot recalled was asking his passenger if she could read the scoreboard. When asked how high he was flying, the pilot stated 5,500 feet mean sea level. Examination of the radios revealed the transponder was off and both communication radios were on Unicom frequencies. According to on scene emergency service personnel, there was fuel venting or running from the airplane in a steady stream. The local fire department foamed the accident area.

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

The pilot-in-command's inadequate fuel management which led to fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude and his ostentatious display.

Full narrative available

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