SEA06LA185
SEA06LA185

On September 22, 2006, at approximately 1620 mountain daylight time, a Cessna T210M, N732PC, was substantially damaged when it struck a fence during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Delta, Utah. The instrument rated private pilot, the sole occupant in the airplane, received minor injuries. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The cross-country, personal flight originated from Bountiful, Utah, at approximately 1530. The pilot was flying on an IFR flight plan. The airplane was operating in instrument meteorological conditions when the engine lost power, and the forced landing was made in visual meteorological conditions.

The pilot said that he had been cleared to climb to 12,000 feet. As he reached 12,000 feet, he said that his airspeed indicator was reading zero. The pilot said "I realized why when I noticed that approximately 1/2 inch of rime ice, or a little more, had collected on the leading edge of the wings, wing struts, lower wind screen and pitot tube." He turned on the pitot heat, and requested a higher altitude to get out of the clouds and ice. As the airplane passed through 13,200 feet for 14,000 feet, the engine "choked once" and immediately quit operating.

The pilot established a best-glide airspeed, and selected the closest airport on his GPS (Delta Municipal Airport, Delta, Utah; elevation 4,759 feet). He said that he broke out of the clouds, at approximately 8,000 feet, and saw the airport in front of him. He attempted an engine restart with no success. The pilot said that the ice began to melt off the airplane. He said that he was so concerned with reaching the airport, he flew directly to its middle instead of setting up for a landing. As he approached the airport, he put the landing gear down. He realized that he was at a low altitude, approximately 750 feet above the ground, but attempted to make a 180 degree turn to the airport beneath him. He was unable to reach the airport. He landed in a field, and rolled into the airport's perimeter fence. The airplane nosed over damaging the vertical stabilizer, the right wing, and the fuselage. The pilot did receive facial injuries; he said that he had released his shoulder harnesses earlier in the flight to reach a switch on the right side of the instrument panel.

During the post accident examination of the aircraft, an engine ground run was successfully performed. No preaccident anomalies were identified with the aircraft or its power plant. When the aircraft was retrieved two days after the accident, no fuel was found in the fuel tanks, no gasoline fumes were smelled, and no blue stains (from the identification dyes in aviation fuel) were observed. The pilot told the investigative team, that during his preflight of the airplane, he did not "stick" the fuel tanks to confirm their fuel levels. He believed that he had sufficient fuel for three hours of flight. He also described his airborne starting procedure to the Investigator-In-Charge. The procedure he described did not include priming the engine with the auxiliary fuel pump. The "Engine Failure During Flight" checklist in the Pitot Operating Handbook called for use of the auxiliary fuel pump.




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