On January 12, 1996, at 0820 eastern standard time, a Cessna T210N, N5218A, operated by PromptAir, Inc. as a cargo flight, impacted terrain in a residential area after a loss of engine power while on final approach to runway 32 at Bowman Field, in Louisville, Kentucky. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an IFR flight plan. The flight operated under 14 CFR Part 135, and originated from Chattanooga, Tennessee, at 0652 eastern standard time. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the airplane fuel tanks were full (90 gallons of 100LL fuel) when the cargo flight originated from Louisville, with an intended destination of Chattanooga, at about 2238 on January 11, 1995. He reported that when he arrived at Chattanooga, he was informed that the airport was closed due to slush on the runways. The pilot diverted to Nashville, Tennessee, where the airplane touched down at about 0129 on January 12. He reported that the flight departed Nashville for Chattanooga at about 0520, and arrived at Chattanooga at 0615. The pilot stated that he figured that the airplane had about 25 gallons of fuel remaining when he landed in Chattanooga. He reported that he purchased an additional 15 gallons before he departed Chattanooga to return to Louisville, Kentucky. The pilot stated that he departed Chattanooga at approximately 0652.
The pilot stated that at about 0818, he "...ran [the] right tank dry [and] switched to left tank..." which he said indicated slight below 1/4 tank. The pilot reported that when the airplane was about 2 to 2 1/2 miles from the airport the "...engine sputters and quits... ." His attempts to restart the engine were unsuccessful, and he made a forced landing on a road in a residential area. The pilot reported that "...due to automobile traffic [and] length of streets, an approach at normal glide speed was not possible. I was forced to stall [the airplane] the last 50 [feet] or so...I hit the road and slid off into a tree... ." The pilot stated "The manner in which the engine stopped leads me to believe fuel exhaustion was the cause."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector stated that no fuel stains or fuel odor were present at the accident site, and that a visual check revealed no evidence of useable fuel on board the airplane. The FAA Inspector's statement indicated that "Inspectors...noted ice along the leading edges of both wings of approximately 3/8 in. thickness and 1 1/2 in. in width along the length of the wings on the deice boots." Further examination of the fuel system revealed no evidence of fuel in the fuel flow divider, or in the right header tank. Investigators drained approximately 1/2 cup of fuel from the fuel strainer assembly, and about 1/2 cup of fuel from the left header tank. The FAA Inspector stated that a visual inspection of the fuel system revealed no indication of a lack of continuity of the fuel system, and that aircraft maintenance logs "...revealed no past discrepancies involving the fuel system."