ERA12LA157
ERA12LA157

On January 25, 2012, about 1515 eastern standard time, a Cessna 210E, N7130U, made a forced landing following a total loss of engine power while maneuvering in the traffic pattern at the Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6), Port Orange, Florida. The airplane sustained substantial damaged and the private pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight had originated shortly before the accident.

According to the pilot, it was the first flight after an engine installation and he had planned to stay in the traffic pattern. Prior to departure he conducted an engine run-up and magneto check. After everything was checked, he departed runway 5 and climbed to traffic pattern altitude of 1,000 feet. While on the downwind leg, the engine failed. He attempted to restart the engine but was unsuccessful, and attempted to return to the airport. He stated that he was too low to glide back to the field, and made a forced landing in a wooded area.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector confirmed structural damage to the fuselage, wings, and empennage. During a cursory examination of the engine, it was noted that when the top and bottom spark plugs were removed they were packed with sand. Further examination revealed that the sand had entered through the exhaust system during recovery and entered through the exhaust system through an open exhaust valve on the No. 5 cylinder. Examination of the induction tubes revealed that the right side intake induction tube was not connected properly, the clamp was found tight but the rubber connection hose was not sealed. It was also noted that the engine was dragged out from the accident site during the recovery. In a conversation with Continental Motors it was noted that a loose intake induction tube would disrupt air flow but not necessarily cause an engine to stop. Fuel was found in the fuel injector lines going into each cylinder. Both magnetos were tested and sparked on the ignition wire towers.

Examination of the magneto and ignition wiring revealed it was the original wiring and included several areas where repairs and splices had been made. During examination there was continuity in the ignition/magneto circuit; however, sections of the wiring were not sealed and insulated against grounding. No evidence of electrical arching was noted on the wiring or the surrounding engine and airframe. The fuel system was compromised from damage to the wings; however, the fuel tanks remained intact. According to the salvage company, approximately 28 gallons of fuel was removed from the fuel tanks. A sample of the fuel was inspected and no water was detected. According to the mechanics who performed the defueling, the fuel was clean and had no signs of any type of contamination.

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