On October 30, 1997, about 1230 eastern standard time, a Cessna P210N, N600WL, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in a field near Smoketown, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot/owner and a certificated flight instructor received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross country flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Long Island-MacArthur Airport, Islip, New York, about 1100, destained for the Smoketown Airport, Smoketown, Pennsylvania. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The owner reported that the certificated flight instructor (CFI) was the pilot in command. The CFI, flying from the right front seat, stated that he was given an en route descent to 3,000 feet. The CFI wrote that he was "lowering the manifold pressure by 2 inches about every 2 minutes so as not to shock cool the engine." He reported that he took his hand off the throttle to adjust a chart on his knee board, when he noticed the power drop from 18 inches to 10 inches of manifold pressure, and when he pushed in the throttle he got no response from the engine. He looked at the fuel selector valve and noticed that it was on the left tank and the fuel indicator displayed 1/4 tank. The CFI gave control of the airplane to the owner at about 2,500 feet MSL.
The controller gave the pilots vectors to the nearest airport, but the CFI stated that they were unable to reach it. The owner, who was given control of the airplane, recalled that she pushed the throttle in and there was still no response. She estimated that she was at 1,500 feet AGL, and focused her attention to outside of the airplane for the off airport landing. According to both pilot's reports and the ground scarring found at the accident site, the airplane bounced after the initial touch down. The pilot stated that upon the second touch down the "dirt grabbed the mains and the nose came down very quickly. The next thing I knew, the nose went all the way down and the tail was coming over the nose and we stopped upside down." Both pilots were able to exit from the airplane without assistance.
A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector examined the wreckage. The examination revealed that the fuel selector switch was in the left tank position. No fuel was found in the left tank and 11 gallons were drained from the right tank. The airplane was taken to JRA Executive Air, Hagerstown, Maryland. When fuel was plumbed to the engine, it started and operated to 2,850 RPM. No mechanical problems were found with the airframe or engine.
The CFI stated that because the owner had more flight time in the airplane, he thought that she could handle the emergency better. The owner reported that because of their altitude when she was given control of the airplane, about 1,500 feet above ground level, she focused on locating a suitable field for landing the airplane, and did not execute the emergency procedures for loss of power.