On June 24, 1994, at 1230 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna T210L, N59187, experienced a loss of engine power while in cruise flight. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a highway near Chiloquin, Oregon, however, due to traffic, the pilot landed the airplane in an open marsh area. During the landing roll, the airplane collided with the terrain and nosed over. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the flight instructor received minor injuries. The private pilot rated passenger, and two other passengers were not injured. The flight had departed from Fresno, California, on June 24, 1994, at 0946, as a pleasure flight that was en route to Sunriver, Oregon. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The flight instructor reported that earlier that morning, the airplane had been fueled to the top in preparation for a check- out in the airplane prior to the cross country flight. This flight lasted approximately 45 minutes to an hour. After the check-out, the passengers and baggage were loaded and the airplane was started, taxied and run-up prior to the 0946 departure. The pilot reported that with full fuel, the airplane's endurance was five hours. The duration of the flight to Klammath Falls was reported to be two hours and thirty minutes, with Sun River being another thirty minutes further.
When the flight was abeam Klamath Falls, the pilot noted that the left fuel tank indicated between one-quarter and one-half, while the right fuel tank indicated one-quarter. The pilot switched fuel tanks to the left side and noted a positive fuel flow, shortly thereafter, the engine quit, and the pilot stated that she knew "it was a fuel starvation problem." The pilot turned the airplane to the left to lower terrain and switched the fuel selector back to the right side. The engine again started, however, lost power approximately one minute later. A forced landing was initiated to a road, however, due to traffic, the pilot opted to divert to an open area. During the landing roll, the airplane nosed over in the soft terrain.
During the wreckage recovery, the recovery team noted that there was no evidence of fuel smell or fuel spillage from the wing tanks. The fuel lines were opened and a minimal amount of fuel was drained.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) 94-12-08, effective July 22, 1994, and compliance within the next 12 calendar months after the effective date. This AD establishes quidelines to prevent the loss of engine power caused by inadvertent fuel loss or inadequate fuel servicing. The items to check are to either check the fuel gauge calibration or to placard the airplane to indicate that the fuel gauges are not calibrated and that "with full tanks, maximum endurance is 4 hours for flight planning."
Another item to check is to either install raised fuel caps or to placard the airplane to state "To assure full capacity while filling, fill slowly during the last 5 gallons, Recheck for full after 2 minutes."