On November 17, 2000, at 1200 central standard time, a Cessna T210L, N29233, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after initial climbout when the airplane lost engine power and an emergency landing was attempted. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight had departed from the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN), Madison, Wisconsin, on an avionics maintenance flight. The airplane reached an altitude of about 880 feet above ground level when the engine lost power. The pilot attempted to return to the airport. The landing gear hit the perimeter fence and the airplane subsequently impacted the ground. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported he departed at 80 kts and had climbed to 1,750 feet mean sea level (msl), "... when the fuel flow indicator dropped from 3/4 scale (normal for climb) to zero. The engine stopped and the prop continued to windmill. I radioed the control tower that I had an emergency. I lowered the nose to attain maximum glide speed and started a right turn back to the airport - runway 18 was the closest." He stated, "I attempted to bring the plane within the confines of the airport to avoid having to ditch in a marsh or on a road. When approx. 1/8 mile from the airport fence, at an altitude of approx. 200 ft. agl, the controller radioed and told me the landing gear was not down. I was intending on lowering the gear at the very last moment so no additional drag was produced. At that moment, I lowered the gear. The mains clipped the top portion of the outer chain link fence and the plane dropped to the surface. The plane skidded along the ground and impacted the localizer antennas. The plane came to a stop. After turning off the master switch and fuel selector I exited quickly as fuel was pouring out of the left wing. As I walked around the tail section I saw more fuel leaking from the right wing."
The pilot reported that he turned the auxiliary fuel pump on (not associated with the fuel pump motor located in the auxiliary fuel tanks) and switched the fuel tank selector to the opposite tank. He reported that he did not attempt an engine restart because he was focused on landing and keeping the airplane from stalling. He reported he did not have enough time to restart the engine.
The pilot reported that he had flown the airplane two times previously, both times in the last two days. The airplane's autopilot system was being worked on and it required the pilot to test fly the airplane.
The pilot reported that he conducted a preflight prior to the flight. He reported the main fuel tanks had about 1/4 fuel. He reported that 5 to 6 gallons of fuel were in each of the auxiliary fuel tanks located outboard of the main tanks. He reported that he checked the fuel sumps of the main tanks and the fuel strainer for water contamination, but he did not check the auxiliary wing fuel tanks for water contamination.
The auxiliary fuel tanks and the auxiliary fuel tank circuit breakers were not original equipment on the airplane, but were added as a Supplementary Type Certificate (STC).
He reported that after the exterior preflight of the airplane, he noticed the circuit breakers for the auxiliary fuel tanks were pulled out. He pushed the circuit breakers in. He reported that by pushing the auxiliary fuel circuit breakers in, the fuel pump motors in the auxiliary fuel tanks would pump fuel from the auxiliary fuel tanks to the main fuel tanks. He reported the circuit breakers had not been pushed in on the two previous maintenance flights, and that no fuel had been added to the airplane during any of the maintenance flights. He reported he did not know when fuel had last been added to the auxiliary fuel tanks.
The pilot reported that he owned his own 1979 Cessna P210N which he had purchased in January 2000 and had flown approximately 200 hours. The pilot reported that his airplane was not equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks. He reported he knew the engine restart procedures for the Cessna 210's.
The airplane's owner reported that the main fuel tanks and the auxiliary fuel tanks were filled on October 10, 2000. He reported that on October 29, 2000, the main tanks were filled with fuel, but the auxiliary tanks were not. He reported that he was 95% confident that he had emptied the auxiliary fuel tanks into the main tanks. He reported the auxiliary tanks contain 14 gallons of fuel with 1/2 gallon of unusable fuel.
A Federal Aviation Administration Air Worthiness Inspector examined the airplane. The engine ran successfully and no engine anomalies were found. He reported the fuel system was checked. The finger screen was clean, the fuel pump worked, and there was no trace of water. Both fuel tanks had been compromised.
The procedures for Engine Failure During Flight are:
1. Airspeed - 85 KIAS. 2. Fuel Quantity - CHECK. 3. Fuel Selector Valve - FULLER TANK. 4. Mixture - RICH. 5. Auxiliary Fuel Pump - ON for 3-5 seconds with throttle 1/2 open; then OFF. 6. Ignition Switch - BOTH (or START id propeller is stopped). 7. Throttle - SLOWLY ADVANCE.