On November 5, 1996, at 0845 central standard time, a Cessna T210N airplane, N6546N, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Grand Prairie, Texas. The airplane, owned and operated by Van Bortel Aircraft Inc., of Arlington, Texas, was being operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the ferry flight for which a flight plan was not filed. The airplane departed from the Grand Prairie Municipal Airport at approximately 0830.

The pilot reported that the airplane had been stored at the operator's paint shop and storage facilities at the Grand Prairie Airport awaiting delivery to a new owner. The purpose of his flight was to reposition the airplane from the storage facility to the nearby Arlington Municipal Airport, approximately 7 miles to the southwest.

The pilot stated that the preflight of the Cessna 210 included checking the quality of the fuel, as well as the quantity of engine oil and fuel on board. The pilot stated that he could not locate a ladder to visually check the quantity of fuel, so he elected to rely on the fuel gages. The pilot reported that both tanks were reading above 1/4 of the tank.

The pilot further stated that he departed Grand Prairie VFR; however, he was unable to land at the Arlington Airport due to localized instrument conditions in the vicinity of the destination airport. The pilot elected to return to Grand Prairie to wait for the weather to improve.

The pilot reported that he entered the traffic pattern to land on runway 17. During the turn from base to final approach for runway 17, while configured with 10 degrees of flaps and the landing gear extended, the engine lost power without warning. The pilot added that after losing power, he "did a brief checklist, but because of [the low] altitude, he had to choose a landing spot quickly."

Law enforcement personnel reported that the airplane touched down on the southwest side of a parking lot, overran the end of the parking lot and impacted trees and bushes. The accident site was approximately 3/4 mile from the landing threshold of runway 17 at the Grand Prairie Airport.

Examination of the wreckage by the FAA inspector at the site revealed that both wings sustained structural damage and the nose wheel collapsed. Fifteen gallons of fuel were drained from the compromised left tank. The right fuel cell, which was not compromised by impact, was found to be dry. The fuel selector was found in the "off" position.

The wreckage was further examined after the airplane was recovered. The engine was run under the supervision of the NTSB on November 6, 1996. The engine performed within limits. See enclosed report.

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