On March 19, 1995, at 1215 eastern standard time, a Cessna 210L, N4618Q, collided with trees during the final approach to Hardwick Field, in Cleveland, Tennessee. The private pilot and one passenger were seriously injured, and two passengers had minor injuries. The aircraft had substantial damage. The aircraft was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and a visual flight rules flight plan was in effect for the personal flight. The flight originated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at an undetermined time. A passenger stated that they left about 0730, central standard time. In his report, the pilot stated that they departed about 9:00 a.m., eastern standard time. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The flight was proceeding to Cleveland for a planned refueling stop. One passenger reported that the approach was normal until the aircraft was on short final. The pilot alerted the passengers to "hold on", and shortly thereafter the aircraft collided with trees. The aircraft came to rest 1,200 feet short of the approach end of runway 21.
The airport manager was interviewed by telephone the day after the accident. He stated that when he arrived at the plane, there was no odor of fuel and no fuel was leaking. Both wing fuel tanks were ruptured, he said. The female passenger stated to the pilot that fuel had been dripping from the right wing and he instructed her to turn off the fuel selector. He reported that the passenger also stated that a high sink rate developed during the approach.
In his report of the accident, the pilot reported that he advanced the throttle prior to turning onto the final approach, and there was no engine response. He noted zero fuel pressure and low manifold pressure. The electric fuel boost pump was turned on and the pump was heard cavitating. He then attempted to reach a grass field.
A wreckage distribution diagram was provided by the Federal Aviation Inspector who visited the site. He noted that there was no evidence of propeller rotation.
The wreckage was recovered by Atlanta Air Salvage to Griffin, Georgia. One of the recovery technicians, Frank, stated that he examined the fuel header tanks when the airplane was off-loaded at Griffin and he found them empty.
An examination of the wreckage revealed damage that was consistent with tree impact to the wings. The inspector's diagram of the accident site also indicated there was wing contact with trees. The right wing exhibited streaks originating from the fuel cap area that extended aft and inboard. Dust was adhered to the wing which visualized the streaks.
The engine, a Continental IO-520-L(4), serial number 242840-R, was examined. There was impact damage to the underside of the number 5 cylinder; the intake valve rocker and bosses were absent, and the push rod was bent. Both spark plugs were removed from the number 5 cylinder to disable it. The left intake elbow was perforated. Duct tape was placed over the hole. The fuel pump adjustment screw was broken. The lead was broken off of the number 2 bottom plug. All spark plugs were Champion RHB32E plugs and exhibited blackening of the electrodes. The cylinder combustion chambers were also blackened. An external fuel pump was rigged to the fuel control valve, bypassing the fuel pump. The engine was then started and operated for about four seconds.