DFW06LA104
DFW06LA104

On April 14, 2006, approximately 1500 central daylight time, a Cessna 210F single-engine airplane, N1966S, was destroyed by fire following an in-flight fire and subsequent emergency landing near Lubbock, Texas. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The 429-nautical mile cross-country flight originated from the Town and Country Airpark (F82), near Lubbock, Texas, about 1455, and was en route to the Hawthorne Field Airport (45R), near Silsbee, Texas.

According to the 200-hour pilot, approximately five to seven minutes after takeoff, he heard a "poof" sound come from behind the instrument panel, smelled an odor consistent with an electrical fire, and observed dark gray smoke and flames around his feet. The pilot further stated that he observed that none of the circuit breakers had "popped" and the amperage gauge was still indicating a " full charge." The pilot responded by turning off the electrical master switch, to which no change was noted. The pilot subsequently elected to perform an off-airfield emergency landing to plowed cotton field with the landing gear extended. Shortly after touchdown, the airplane nosed-over and came to rest in an inverted position. The pilot was able to egress the airplane unassisted. The airplane was engulfed in flames within a few minutes of coming to rest. The pilot attempted to fight the fire with the on-board portable fire extinguisher to no avail.

The pilot further reported that three to four weeks prior to the accident flight, a loaner radio had been installed; however, the airplane had been flown approximately fifteen hours since its installation without problems.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and Cessna Aircraft Company examined the wreckage of the airplane at the accident site. The cockpit area, extending forward to the firewall, and inboard section of both wings were destroyed by fire. No visible area of torching was present. Several components were further examined at Cessna Aircraft under FAA oversight; however, due to the extent of fire damage the origin of the fire could not be determined.


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