On February 28, 2004, at 1446 central standard time, a Cessna T210M single-engine airplane, N50MC, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Grape Creek, Texas. The commercial pilot, and one of his two passengers sustained minor injuries. The other passenger was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Butler Brothers and Cervi Rodeo Co., of Hungerford, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the business flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The 580-nautical mile cross-country flight originated from Greeley, Colorado, at 0940 mountain standard time, and was destined for the San Angelo Regional Airport (SJT), near San Angelo, Texas. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A review of voice communications revealed the 6,500-hour pilot had notified air traffic control that he was critical on fuel and had requested a straight-in approach to San Angelo. A controller provided information to the pilot for a surveillance approach, and cleared him to descend to an altitude of 4,300 feet msl. Approximately nine minutes after reporting that he was critical on fuel, the pilot reported that the engine was "quitting" and said, "we're out gas...we're out of gas." The pilot descended in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) until he reached an approximate altitude of 3,000 feet msl (approximately 1,100 above ground level). The controller informed the pilot that there was a highway approximately 3 nautical miles south of his position and ranches in the vicinity of his position.
In a written statement, the pilot reported that he had, "completed a preflight and checked all fuel tanks to make sure they were full" prior to departing. When he was approximately 20 miles northeast of the San Angelo Airport, at 11,000 feet msl, the engine stopped producing power, and he descended through IMC between 8,200 feet and 3,400 feet msl. Once the pilot had the ground in sight, he turned the airplane into the wind, which was from the south at 25 knots, and landed in a partially obstructed field. Upon landing, the airplane impacted multiple mesquite trees of various sizes.
Examination of the airplane by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed the right wing fuel tank contained approximately one cup of fuel, and no fuel was observed in the left fuel tank. Both the left and right fuel caps were secure and intact. The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage.