On April 30, 1999, approximately 1530 central daylight time, a Cessna 210A airplane, N9404X, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Bay City, Texas. The private pilot, who was the owner of the airplane, and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal cross-country flight. The flight originated from Freer, Texas, at 1400 and was en route to Baytown, Texas.

During a telephone interview conducted by the investigator-in-charge, the pilot stated that after departing Freer, Texas, he "started experiencing stomach pains and needed to use the restroom." He elected to land at the Bay City Municipal Airport near Bay City, instead of continuing to Baytown. The pilot added that he forgot to switch his tanks during his pre-landing check, and on downwind the engine lost power. The pilot switched from the left fuel tank to the right fuel tank and turned on the fuel pump; however, the propeller stopped windmilling and he was unable to restart the engine.

The pilot landed the airplane in a field approximately two miles northwest of the Bay City Airport. During the landing roll, the airplane impacted a 5 foot drainage ditch resulting in the left main gear and nose gear separating. The horizontal stabilizer was twisted, and the engine fire wall was damaged.

The FAA inspector examined the aircraft in the field and reported that the left fuel tank was empty and the right fuel tank contained approximately 5 gallons of fuel. There was evidence of a "small" fuel spill at the accident site.

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