NTSB Identification: CEN10FA382
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 10, 2010 in Tulsa, OK
Aircraft: CESSNA 421, registration: N88DF
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.
On July, 10, 2010, at 2205 central daylight time (CDT), a Cessna model 421A airplane, N88DF, impacted trees and terrain following a fuel exhaustion event during visual approach to Tulsa International Airport (TUL), Tulsa, Oklahoma. The private pilot and two pilot rated passengers were fatally injured. The business flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The cross-country flight originated at the Oakland County International Airport (PTK), Pontiac, Michigan, and the intended destination was the Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport (RVS), Tulsa, Oklahoma. The airplane had requested to land at TUL prior to the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Note: all times referenced in this report are in central daylight time.
The pilot and both passengers departed RVS for PTK about 0919 and arrived at PTK about 1251 for a business meeting. The airplane flew at 13,500 feet mean sea level (msl), resulting in a three hour and thirty-two minute flight duration. Prior to departing PTK the pilot requested the airplane be “topped off” and the plane was serviced with 154 gallons of 100 octane low lead (100LL) aviation fuel. The airplane had a 196 gallon usable fuel capacity. A line serviceman for the fixed base operator providing the fuel observed the pilot performing a preflight inspection prior to departing PTK. During the preflight he observed the right main tank sump become stuck open. He estimated five to six gallons of fuel was lost before the sump seal was regained. The fuel tanks were not topped off following the fuel spill. The airplane departed PTK for RVS about 1803 and flew the return flight at 4,500 feet msl.
At 2147:53 the pilot checked in with Tulsa Approach Control and was cleared direct RVS. At 2157:50 the pilot stated he’d like to land at TUL and was given direction to enter a left base to Runway 18 Right (18R). At 1001:44 the pilot was told to switch to the local tower control frequency, which he did at 1001:47. The pilot was given clearance to land at 1001:56. At 1004:23 the pilot stated “Tulsa, we’ve exhausted our fuel.” The airplane was observed descending into a forested area, followed by a flash. The pilot did not inform either of the approach or tower controllers he had a fuel problem at any time.
The airplane impacted trees and terrain about ½ mile north of TUL on the extended centerline of Runway 18R in Mohawk Park, property operated by the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Trees in the area were about 50 to 60 feet tall. The wreckage debris field was about 200 feet long and 75 feet wide. The fuselage came to rest in an inverted position approximately 200 feet south of the initial tree impact point. The right main (tip) fuel tank was found near the first tree showing impact marks. The empennage was separated from the fuselage and was found about 20 feet northeast of the fuselage. The right wing had fire damage around the right engine and the inboard wing root. Both propellers were found in a feathered position.
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