NTSB Identification: ERA13LA053
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 11, 2012 in Jasper, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 210, registration: N9633T
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During a cross-country flight, the pilot elected to refuel at an intermediate airport. The pilot switched the fuel selector from the right tank to the left (which he reported contained fuel quantities of 1/4 tank and between 1/3 and 1/2 tank, respectively, according to the fuel gauges), and initiated a descent. The pilot circled the airplane over the airport until he reached traffic pattern altitude and then maneuvered for landing. The pilot stated that due to crosswind conditions at the airport, he had to “crab and slip the airplane” to maintain the proper final approach course. When the airplane was about 1 mile from the runway threshold, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot was unsuccessful in his attempts to restart the engine and conducted a forced landing to a road. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the right fuel tank contained about 14 gallons of fuel, and the left tank contained about 9 gallons. A postaccident test run of the engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.
A service letter issued by the manufacturer about 47 years before the accident and a subsequent airworthiness directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration required the installation of a placard on the instrument panel directly under the fuel quantity indicators which stated, “Avoid landing approaches in red arc and over 30 second slips under 1/2 tank.” The placard was not installed on the accident airplane at the time of the accident.
Given the airplane’s fuel state at the time of the accident and the absence of mechanical malfunctions in postaccident examinations, it is likely that, while the pilot was descending and maneuvering for landing using a prolonged sideslip, the fuel tank outlet became unported, and that the subsequent lack of fuel flow resulted in a loss of engine power.
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 prolonged sideslip maneuvers during the descent to landing. Contributing to the accident was the airplane’s lack of a required placard advising pilots to avoid lengthy sideslip maneuvers with fuel tanks less than 1/2 full. Full narrative available
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