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On June 26, 2011, about 1431 central daylight time, a Cessna T210, N732BX, impacted trees, a power line, and terrain, during a forced landing after a loss of engine power near Romeoville, Illinois. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger received serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the impact. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Brookeridge Airpark (LL22), Downers Grove, Illinois at an unconfirmed time and was en route to the Lewis University Airport (LOT), Romeoville, Illinois.
The airplane was owned by the pilot and based at LL22. LOT is located 10 miles south-southwest of LL22. The passenger in the airplane reported that they departed LL22 with the intention of completing some touch and go’s at LOT. He stated that they had just completed two touch and go maneuvers and were climbing out when the engine quit. He stated that the pilot attempted an off field landing short of the airport. The passenger stated that he remembered the pilot draining the fuel sumps before takeoff but could not remember if they ever put fuel in the aircraft.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate, with a limitation requiring the pilot to have glasses available for near vision, on November 10, 2009. He reported 5,850 hours total flight time on his most recent airman medical certificate application. His most recent flight review was completed on May 31, 2011. The pilot’s flight logbook was not available for review during the investigation.
The airplane was a 1976 Cessna model T210L airplane, serial number 21061397. The airplane was a six seat, high wing monoplane of predominately aluminum construction. It had a tricycle retractable landing gear configuration, and was powered by a 285 horsepower, turbo-charged six cylinder engine. The engine was a Continental Motors model TSIO-520-PCH, bearing serial number 513067.
The airplane had accumulated about 5,160 hours at the time of the most recent annual inspection. That inspection was completed on August 16, 2010. About 9 hours had accumulated on the airplane since that inspection.
At 1440, the weather conditions recorded at LOT were: wind from 110 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 miles; scattered clouds at 2,000 feet above ground level (agl); temperature 27 degrees Celsius; dew point 14 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.93 inches of mercury.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest on the side of an embankment near the intersection of Airport Road and Illinois Route 53 in Romeoville, Illinois. During the impact sequence, the airplane struck trees and a power line. The resting location of the airplane was about 2,100 feet east-northeast of the approach end of runway 27 at LOT. The airplane came to rest facing east having struck a tree during the impact sequence. Impact evidence indicated that the airplane was travelling in a southwest direction prior to its impact with the tree. The airplane struck the tree on the forward right side of the fuselage which was crushed rearward and inward. The airplane’s engine was separated from the airframe and located about 50 feet southwest of the main wreckage. The airplane wreckage was removed from the accident site for further examination.
Examination of the airplane in a hangar at LOT was conducted on June 30, 2011. The engine was separated from the airframe and was resting on a wooden pallet. The engine was lifted using an engine hoist. The propeller was removed during the examination. The upper spark plugs were removed and a borescope examination of the engine performed. No defects that would prevent engine operation were detected. The engine rotated freely and compression and suction could be felt on all cylinders while rotating the engine. The magneto impulse couplings could be heard while rotating the engine. Spark was detected on all spark plug leads during rotation. The fuel manifold valve was opened and a trace amount of fuel was found. The engine was shipped to Continental Motors for a possible engine run examination.
The airframe was substantially intact. The airplane was positioned level and the wings shored up to keep it level. The wings and tail surfaces remained attached. The landing gear was in the retracted position and the flaps were in the up position. The elevator trim tab actuator was measured to be 1.55 inches equating to a 0 to 5 degrees tab down deflection. There was buckling of the aft fuselage in a downward left direction. There was leading edge damage to the left wing that was consistent with the reported impact with the overhead power line. All control surfaces remained attached and all hinge locations were intact. Continuity was confirmed from each control surface to the cockpit area. No fuel was found in either wing fuel tank when checked with a fuel strainer cup. The gascolator was removed and its contents drained. An estimated 2 ounces total quantity of liquid was drained from the gascolator. Of that 2 ounces, about 1-1/2 ounces appeared to be 100LL aviation gasoline and ½ ounce appeared to be water. The sample was tested using a water detection paste to confirm the presence of water. The separated layer was confirmed to be water.
A subsequent examination and test run was conducted on the engine from the airplane on October 11, 2011 at the Continental Motors facility in Mobile, Alabama. The NTSB investigator in charge was present for the preparation and engine test run. Several engine components that had sustained impact damage during the accident were replaced with substitute or repaired parts prior to the engine test run. Subsequently, the engine was placed into an engine testing cell and run at various throttle settings from idle to full throttle. No defects were detected in the operation of the engine during the test run. The engine was able to produce full rated power output and exhibited no hesitation or stumbling during throttle application.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy of the pilot was performed on June 27, 2011. The pilot’s was attributed to multiple traumatic injuries sustained in the accident.
The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute forensic toxicology report noted the presence of Ibuprofen and Quinine in the submitted samples. Specifically, the report noted:
Ibuprofen detected in Urine;
Quinine detected in Urine;
Ibuprofen is a nonnarcotic analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. It is available in prescription, as well as nonprescription, forms.
Quinine is an anti-malarial used in the treatment of malaria and leg cramps. It is an additive in tonic water.