DEN02LA012
DEN02LA012

On November 16, 2001, at approximately 1415 mountain standard time, a Cessna T210N, N210GB, was destroyed during a postimpact fire following a power loss and subsequent forced landing near Montrose, Colorado. The private pilot, the sole occupant on the airplane, received minor injuries. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country personal flight that was originating at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed, but the pilot said that his planned destination was Placerville, California.

The pilot said that the first leg of his trip from Kansas City, Kansas, to Placerville, California, was uneventful. He was on the ground at Montrose, Colorado, for approximately 30 minutes for fuel and a rest stop. The pilot said that he departed on runway 31 at approximately 1415, and the takeoff seemed normal. During a telephone conversation, he said that at approximately 1,500 feet above ground level (agl) he reduced the throttle for cruise, reduced the propeller control, and adjusted his fuel mixture. He moved his hand to change a radio frequency when the manifold pressure rapidly dropped to approximately 15 inches of mercury. He switched fuel tanks and turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, believing that there was a vapor lock in the fuel line.

The pilot reported that the engine lost power, and the propeller continued to windmill. He pressed the boost pump switch and pulled the throttle out about an inch. The engine still did not restart; he performed a forced landing to a field. During the landing roll, the airplane crossed a creek, and the nose wheel landing gear collapsed under the airplane. He noticed fire around his feet, and immediately exited the airplane. The airplane was consumed by postimpact fire.

Postaccident investigation of the airframe and the engine by an FAA inspector, as well as an engine and airframe manufacturer representatives revealed no anomalies which might have affected the airplane's performance before the accident. The engine manufacturer’s representative did find that eight spark plugs were very black and sooty, and four spark plugs wet. A witness, who observed the takeoff, said that the airplane trailed dark smoke during its takeoff roll and climb out.

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