NTSB Identification: LAX05FA026.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 04, 2004 in Lomita, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna T210M, registration: N732RW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 engine lost power at night while the pilot was on short final for the runway during a 12-minute positioning flight between nearby airports, and the airplane collided with a house. Witnesses reported that the engine sound was quiet prior to impact with trees, power lines, and a house. The airplane came to rest inverted in the backyard of a residence. The total flight time since the last refueling of 40 gallons was 2.1 hours tachometer time. The owner estimated that when the 40 gallons were added, the fuel tanks would have been near empty. Fuel calculations based on charts in the Cessna Pilot's Operating Handbook indicated that approximately 30 gallons would have been used during the 2.1 hours. At the accident site, the intact right fuel tank contained about 8 ounces of fuel. The left fuel tank was breached but approximately 1 gallon was drained from the tank when it was moved for recovery and a strong odor of fuel was present in the soil beneath the airplane's left wing. The fuel selector was positioned to the right fuel tank. Prior to the airplane's departure on the accident flight, the owner noted that the fuel gauges were reading about 1/4 tank. The fuel line from the fuel pump to the engine was removed and a residual amount of fuel drained out. No control or operational anomalies were noted with the airplane, and the engine was test-run successfully. Interviews with friends of the pilot revealed that the pilot was to reposition the airplane over the previous days leading up to the accident, and that the owner had expressed his disapproval that the repositioning had not been done yet. According to the pilot's friends, the pilot had flown a twin engine Cessna earlier in the day. That evening, the accident pilot was delayed while waiting for a ferry airplane and pilot to arrive, in order to fly him to pickup the accident airplane. The certified flight instructor (CFI) that flew the accident pilot to pickup the airplane reported that immediately after dropping the pilot at the airplane, he began his return trip. The accident airplane was two airplanes behind the CFI during landing. As the CFI was taxiing to parking, he saw a flash of fire in the direction of the accident site. Besides the accident airplane, two other airplanes were for sale at the owners facility; one of these airplanes was the same make and model of the accident airplane. About 2 weeks prior to the accident, the owner of the aircraft sales company and the accident pilot refueled these two airplanes; however, the accident airplane was not refueled.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's mismanagement and inadequate preflight inspection.

Full narrative available

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