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On February 12, 2006, at 1616 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 210M, N6895B, collided with shipping containers during a forced landing on Pier J Berth 266 at the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, California. The pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight that departed Compton/Woodley Airport (CPM), Compton, California, at an unknown time. A flight plan had not been filed.
According to witnesses, the airplane was traveling in a westbound direction near the water's edge. The airplane made a turn back towards the east, and then made a slight left turn northbound. While in the turn, the airplane flew between two shipping containers, struck the ground in a nose low attitude, and came to rest against a shipping container. The witnesses reported that they did not notice any sound coming from the engine, nor did they notice the propeller or whether it was turning or not.
A witness stated that the pilot remained secured in his seat, but was lying partially out of the airplane. Witnesses released the seat belt, and removed the pilot from the airplane. They observed fuel leaking out of the forward part of the cockpit area, as well as the wings, and put sawdust down on the fuel to soak it up. They were not able to quantify the amount of fuel, but did report, "There was a lot of fuel coming out of the airplane." A witness also reported that the pilot indicated that there was a fuel problem, but did not elaborate as to what it was.
An officer from the Long Beach Police Department interviewed a witness at the pier who heard the airplane crash, and responded to the site to render aid. The witness asked the pilot what happened. The pilot replied, 'fuel was low and I tried to land.' Two additional witness on a pilot boat traveling in a southbound direction observed the accident airplane flying low about 200 feet above ground level. They estimated the airplane's speed to be about 60 miles per hour, and it was flying in a northeast direction, approaching Pier J. The airplane struck a container and impacted the ground.
Reported weather at Long Beach Daugherty Field Airport, Long Beach, California, were winds from 290 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky conditions; temperature 29 degrees Celsius; dew point minus 11 degrees Celsius; altimeter setting 30.05 inches of mercury.
The pilot succumbed to his injuries a few months following the accident and was not interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC).
A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airmen records revealed that the pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating.
The pilot held a third-class medical certificate that was issued on November 24, 2004. It had the limitation that the pilot must wear corrective lenses.
No personal flight records were located for the pilot, and the aeronautical experience listed in this report was obtained from a review of the airmen FAA records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These records indicated a total time of 4,500 hours.
The airplane was a Cessna 210M, serial number 21062851. Current airframe and engine logbooks were not recovered for the airplane. The Safety Board IIC reviewed an airframe logbook with the number 2 written on it. An annual inspection was completed on April 20, 2005, with a total airframe time of 4,614.6 hours.
The airplane was equipped with a Teledyne Continental Motors IO-520-L8B engine, serial number 294788-R.
No fueling records were located for the airplane at either the Compton or Long Beach airports for the month of February.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The Safety Board IIC responded to and examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane came to rest on a magnetic heading of 030 degrees in a nose down attitude against a shipping container, about 67 feet from the first identified point of contact (FIPC), which was two shipping containers. The airplane came to rest at global positioning coordinates of 33 degrees 43.31 minutes north latitude and 118 degrees 11.14 minutes west longitude. The tail, the left landing gear, and a seat bottom separated from the airplane and were about 30 feet south of the main wreckage. The wings remained connected to the fuselage. The left wing tip fairing separated from the wing, but was lying near the wing edge in its normal location. The navigation light remained attached and intact on the wing tip. The right wing was bent about midspan, with the wing tip and navigation light remaining attached and intact. The engine remained attached to the engine mounts and firewall, with the firewall partially separated from the cockpit area. There was no visible external damage to the engine. The 3-bladed propeller remained attached to the propeller assembly, which remained connected to the engine. One propeller blade had chordwise scratching at the tip. The other two propeller blades were not visibly damaged.
The FIPC was two 17-foot shipping containers that witnesses said the airplane had flown between. The shipping containers were oriented along an east-west direction. The shipping container on the east side was gray with COSCO written on it. The other shipping container was on the west side and red. Both containers, towards the edges, contained smaller identifying markings. A 24-foot space separated the two containers. The Safety Board IIC examined both shipping containers for impact damage. The gray container showed no evidence of impact damage. The red shipping container, on the southerly facing side, showed evidence of impact damage. A black transfer mark was located on the shipping container about midspan of the container, and 4 feet down from the top of the container. The mark went up and towards the outer east side edge of the shipping container and measured 76 inches at a 10-degree angle in an upward direction. The top corner portion, about 2 feet inboard from the edge of the container, had a semicircular impression in it, and the adjacent top corner of the shipping container contained white paint transfer.
The left horizontal stabilizer's leading edge had a black rubber boot. A red paint transfer mark was on the black rubber section. The airplane's fuselage was torn open from the pilot's side door to the empennage. A red paint transfer mark similar in color to the red shipping container was along the length of the fuselage.
During the recovery, fuel was leaking out of multiple areas of both the left and right wings.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The Safety Board IIC and the Cessna Aircraft Company manufacturer's representative, a party to the investigation, examined the wreckage in detail at Aircraft Recovery Service, Littlerock, California, on July 18, 2006. Investigators noted a tachometer time of 4,666.3 hours.
A visual examination of the airframe and engine revealed no obvious mechanical failures or malfunctions. The airframe manufacturer reported that the airplane had a fully equipped instrument flight rules (IFR) panel. Investigators established flight control continuity. The fuel selector was selected to the right fuel tank. The fuel lines from the cockpit to the engine were open and clear of debris. Investigators were also able to manually actuate the throttle, mixture, and propeller arms in the cockpit. Investigators noted corresponding movement at the engine.
Investigators found that the alternator circuit breaker had been tripped. A spare alternator had been found in the wreckage and examination revealed that it had a shorted internal diode. The alternator attached to the engine was missing the grounding post and the associated ground wire. The ground strap between the engine and the airframe had been disconnected, with the disconnected end showing as weathered. The airplane manufacturer indicated that the fuel level for this airplane is sensed from a variable resistance float assembly that can indicate lower fuel levels than actual as battery voltage drops.
The Safety Board IIC established valve train and mechanical continuity through manual rotation of the crankshaft. There were no mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.
The IIC released the wreckage to the owner's representative.