NTSB Identification: DEN04LA071.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 08, 2004 in Englewood, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Cessna A185E, registration: N185K
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 pilot had been cleared to land and was following slower traffic. He reduced airspeed and made a constant left turn. When he rolled out on final approach, he opened the throttle to arrest the descent rate. The engine did not respond although it was still running. He relaxed back pressure on the control yoke to maintain airspeed and banked slightly to land on a steep incline short of the runway. The descent rate increased and the airplane impacted the incline. Postaccident examination revealed the main landing gear was torn out of the fuselage, the firewall was buckled, and the forward portion of the fuselage aft of the firewall was wrinkled. One year earlier, a fuel management system was installed in the airplane. The system digitally indicates, by the toggling of a switch, total fuel on board, consumption rate, endurance, and fuel remaining. The pilot said that prior to taking off for the 8-mile flight, he checked the fuel quantity and it indicated 10.1 gallons. After the accident, he again checked the fuel quantity and it indicated 8.0 gallons. If properly installed and calibrated correctly, the system will indicated no more than a plus or minus 1.0 gallon error. The recovery crew drained one gallon from all the fuel tanks. The pilot said that several months before the accident, the bracket that secured the throttle cable to the firewall broke. Maintenance records contained no entry of a repair being made. Although the engine had been pushed aft and buckled the firewall, cockpit movement of the throttle produced cable movement at the throttle valve.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planning which failed to verify an adequate fuel supply and his inadequate in-flight planning/decision which resulted in fuel exhaustion. The inadequate indication of his fuel quantity system is a contributing factor.

Full narrative available

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