On June 16, 2000, about 1327 Eastern Daylight Time, a Cessna 210, N485CA, was substantially damage during a forced landing near Bowman Field (AAS), Louisville, Kentucky. The certificated commercial pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the business flight that originated from Campbellsville, Kentucky, destined for Bowman Field. No flight plan was filed, and the flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, he normally flew a Cessna 310, but it was down for maintenance, so his employer authorized him to rent the accident airplane to use in the interim. Before renting the airplane, the pilot had to complete a checkout flight. Two days before the accident, the pilot met with the instructor scheduled to conduct his checkout. The instructor asked the pilot if he had any experience in a Cessna 210. The pilot said he had flown a few hours, but not for several years. The flight was completed, and the pilot was authorized to rent the airplane.
On the day of the accident, the pilot arrived at Campbellsville about 0525. He removed the airplane from the hangar, conducted a preflight, and drained the fuel sumps. He found no anomalies with either the airplane or the fuel. The passengers arrived about 0600, and along with the pilot boarded the airplane, about 0610. The pilot completed the prestart checks, and the engine started on the first attempt. The pilot taxied short of Runway 23, completed the engine run-up checks, and noticed no anomalies, except for a high-engine oil pressure reading. He allowed the engine to warm up, and the oil pressure decreased to within normal operating limits. The pilot taxied onto the runway and departed on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The flight lasted approximately 2.1 hours, and the airplane arrived at Grand Rapids around 0830.
The pilot unloaded his passengers, and the airplane was serviced with 37.6 gallons of fuel. The pilot inspected both tanks, which he found full. About 0915, the pilot reboarded the airplane minus the passengers for the flight back to Campbellsville. The engine started on the first attempt and the pilot taxied short of Runway 26L. Once short of the runway, he performed the engine run-up checks, and noticed nothing unusual. The pilot had prefiled an IFR flight plan for the flight back, but his clearance was not in the ATC system. Since the weather was VFR, he decided to depart and pickup his clearance en route. He departed Grand Rapids about 0930, with the fuel selector on the right tank. Once airborne, he filed an IFR flight plan with approach control, and received a clearance. Approximately half way to Campbellsville, he switched to the left tank. The airplane landed about 1145, and during the flight, no engine anomalies were noticed.
About 1310, the pilot loaded one passenger for a flight to Bowman Field. The engine started on the first attempt, and no anomalies were noticed during the engine run-up checks. The pilot remembered having approximately 30 gallons of fuel in each tank while taxing for departure. The pilot departed Campbellsville VFR, on the left fuel tank, and climbed to an en route altitude of 2,500 feet msl for the 15 minutes flight. About 10 minutes into the flight, the pilot completed the descent checks, selected flaps to 10 degrees, and per the checklist, switched to the right tank, which was the fullest.
Two minutes after switching tanks and with no warning, the pilot experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot selected the auxiliary fuel pump to low, changed back to left tank, and went full forward on the throttle, mixture, and propeller controls. The engine sputtered, but did not start. The pilot then monetarily selected the auxiliary fuel pump switch to high. Still the engine did not respond. The pilot switch back to the right tank, pulled the mixture and propeller controls out monetarily to check cable continuity, and then pushed them back in. He pumped the throttle, but still the engine did not respond. At some point during the descent, the pilot went back to the left tank, and tried several other engine control configurations to regain engine power, but nothing worked.
While trying to restart the engine, the pilot advised ATC he had experienced a loss of power, and was performing an off-field landing. The pilot executed an 80-degree turn to the right to line up with a field. Once on final, the pilot sensed he was too high to make his anticipated touchdown point, so he lowered the landing gear. After lowering the gear, the pilot realized he was actually going to be short of his planned touchdown point. The pilot then identified a much shorter field to his left, and he executed a 120-degree turn to position the airplane on final. Once on short final, the pilot noticed the field was plowed, and he feared the airplane would nose over at touch down with the landing gear down. With insufficient time to reconfigure the airplane, he elected to leave the gear down, and selected the auxiliary fuel pump switch to off in anticipation of ground contact. The airplane touched down, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The pilot and passenger then exited.
The wreckage was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector the day of the accident. The airplane was righted after being inverted for about 3 hours. Approximately 20 gallons of fuel was drained from the right tank, approximately 1 gallon from the left, and the fuel selector was found set to the left tank. The wings were removed and the airplane was transported to a hangar for further examination.
The next day, the FAA inspector continued his examination of the wreckage. A rotational force was applied to the engine crankshaft. Compression was obtained on all six cylinders, and continuity of the engine accessory section was confirmed. Continuity for the ignition system was also confirmed, and all 12 ignition leads produced spark when the crankshaft was rotated. The fuel-inlet line to the distribution valve was removed, the auxiliary fuel pump switch was turned on, and fuel was expelled. The fuel selector was rotated by hand to all three positions, left, right, and off. It rotated freely, and all three detents were felt.
According to the pilot's operating handbook (POH), the airplane is equipped with two fuel tanks, one in each wing. Unusable fuel for each tank is approximately 0.4 gallons. Inside the cockpit and to the right of the pilot seat was a three-position fuel selector, "LEFT," "OFF," and "RIGHT." To move the selector from "LEFT" to "RIGHT," or visa versa, the selector had to transition the "OFF" position.
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a single engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane rating. In addition, he was a certified flight instructor for single engine land airplanes, and a ground instructor. His last FAA first class medical was dated July 19, 1999. He had 1,828.8 hours of total flight experience. In addition, he had 1,254.8 hours in single engine airplanes, and 12.9 hours in the accident airplane make and model.