NTSB Identification: DEN01LA022.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 13, 2000 in BOULDER, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/19/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 210C, registration: N969RJ
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane had sat dormant for almost 8 years, and extensive checks and servicing were performed to prepare it for a ferry flight to a nearby airport where it was scheduled to undergo an annual inspection. FAA issued a ferry permit. The airplane was placed in a heated hangar the night before the flight. When the pilot preflighted the airplane the next morning, 'a little water' was found in the gascolator and 'a tiny amount' was found in the right wing sump. He chose not to have the fuel drained and the airplane serviced with fresh fuel. He later told a local newspaper that he had drained the fuel system and thought he had removed all the water, 'but apparently it was not enough.' He was unsuccessful in trying to start the engine. After it was preheated, the engine started, and he performed 'an extended time warm up and extended pretakeoff run-up.' Shortly after taking off, the engine lost 'complete power.' The pilot enriched the mixture and turned the auxiliary fuel pump first to LOW, then to HIGH. Power returned momentarily, then the engine lost power again. The pilot did not have a chance to switch fuel tanks, but concentrated instead on the forced landing. The airplane 'skimmed the tops of hills, went through a fence, nosed over, and tumbled 2 or 3 times.' Later examination of the engine disclosed the plunger in the fuel manifold was frozen in position, and there was ice in the chamber under the screen.

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

Total loss of engine power due to fuel contamination (water), and failure of the pilot to have the airplane completely refueled. A factor was unsuitable terrain on which to make a forced landing.

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