IAD97LA005
IAD97LA005

On October 10, 1996, at 1846 central daylight time, a Cessna T210M, N6163N, collided with trees while attempting an emergency landing in a park in Mentor, Kentucky. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Orlando, Florida at 1328 eastern daylight time with an intended destination of Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector found that the aircraft was lying inverted and lodged in trees. The fuel selector was pointed to the left fuel tank. The FAA inspector stated that the right wing was substantially damaged and its fuel tank was destroyed. The left wing was found to be moderately damaged with the fuel tank intact with a trace of fuel inside. There were no fuel fumes noted by the FAA inspector.

The pilot stated in his NTSB Form 6120.1/2 that he had flown for 2 hours on each tank at 60% power. He then switched to the right tank and flew for 1 hour 15 minutes. During this time, according to the FAA inspector's report, he climbed up to 14,500 feet to avoid inclement weather, and then returned to 4,500 feet. The pilot then switched to his left fuel tank for 5 to 10 minutes before losing power to his engine.

According to the pilot, the airplane had full fuel tanks or 89 gallons of usable fuel upon departure. Allowing for 2.7 gallons for start, taxi, and takeoff and 1.7 gallons for climb, as found in the performance section of the Cessna T210M owner's manual, the airplane would have had 84.6 gallons of fuel remaining upon reaching its cruise altitude of 4,500 feet. The pilot stated he then flew for 2 hours on each fuel tank. Using the cruise settings reported by the pilot to enter the performance charts, the airplane would have burned 63 gallons of fuel up to this point in the trip. According to the FAA inspector's notes, the pilot then stated he switched to the right tank and executed a climb to 14,500 feet to avoid inclement weather. This climb would have used 4.7 gallons of fuel. While cruising at 14,500 feet for 45 minutes, the airplane burned 9.8 more gallons of fuel. Upon returning to 4,500 feet, the airplane burned another 9.7 gallons of fuel. This second climb and descent lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes, and left the airplane with only 1.8 gallons of fuel. The airplane then cruised for another 5 to 10 minutes, according to the pilot, before losing engine power. At this point, the airplane would have burned 89.0 gallons of fuel.

After the crash, the pilot stated that the left fuel tank gage read 1/2 full when he lost power to the engine. Upon further examination of the instruments, it was noted that with the Master switch on, the left tank gage read 20 gallons, while the right tank gage read empty. When the master switch was off, the left tank gage read 10 gallons, and the right tank gage read empty.

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