ERA12LA306
ERA12LA306

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 27, 2012, about 1520 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 210, N6564X, experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise flight, and made an off airport landing near Fowler's Bluff, Florida. The certificated Airline Transport pilot was not injured and the two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and left wing. The airplane was registered to BFI America Inc, 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 had been filed. The flight had departed from the Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), West Palm Beach, Florida about 1330 with an intended destination of Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH), Tallahassee, Florida.

According to the pilot, while in cruise flight, about 3,000 feet above mean sea level, the engine began losing power until the engine ceased operation and he made a forced landing on a paved road. Prior to departure the airplane had been refueled at PBI with 22 gallons of fuel. The pilot further reported that approximately 30 minutes in to the flight he switched the fuel tanks; however, he could not remember which fuel tank he switched from or which fuel tank he switched to. After the power loss, he switched fuel tanks, applied full rich mixture, and verified that the magnetos were selected in the "BOTH" position; and did so "a couple of times." During the landing roll, the nosewheel exited the edge of the paved surface and the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. After the pilot exited the airplane, he was informed by local officials that fuel was leaking, therefore he turned off the fuel selector valve, turned off the magneto switch, and turned off the battery master.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 61, held an Airline Transport pilot certificate for airplane single-engine and multiengine land, a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and multiengine land, and a third-class airman medical certificate issued December 12, 2011, with no limitations. The pilot reported 8,000 total hours of flight experience, which included 300 total hours of flight experience in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent flight review was accomplished on August 27, 2011.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing, retractable landing gear airplane, was manufactured in July 1960. It was powered by a Continental Motors IO-470-E20, 260-hp engine and equipped with a McCauley controllable pitch propeller. The most recent annual inspection was conducted on February 2, 2012 at a recorded airframe total time of 4162 hours. The engine had been recently overhauled at the engine manufacturer facility and installed on the accident airplane on January 15, 2012. At the time of the accident the engine had 11 total hours of time in service.

METEORGOLOCIAL INFORMATION

The 1453 recorded weather observation at Cross City Airport (CTY), Cross City, Florida located 14 miles to the northwest included variable wind , temperature 28 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C; barometric altimeter 30.09 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the airplane and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector and a representative from the engine manufacturer revealed that the airplane had substantial damage to the fuselage aft of the cabin and to the left wing. Blue fluid, similar to 100LL aviation fuel, was located within the fuel manifold; however, the engine driven fuel pump supply line was devoid of fuel and approximately one-half ounce of blue fluid was located in the fuel line that goes from the engine driven fuel pump to the fuel manifold valve. The airframe electric fuel boost pump operated on both the "HIGH" and "LO" position; however, no fluid was observed exiting the pump. Examination of the area surrounding the accident location, approximately two weeks after the accident, revealed no blithe on the surrounding vegetation.

According to a deputy with the Levy County Sheriff's Office, the occupants were uninjured and the airplane had come to rest at the edge of a county highway. There was no evidence of fuel leaking nor had anyone on scene reported to them that fuel was leaking.

According to an individual who removed the airplane from the road, he drained the fuel prior to removing the wings in order to facilitate the recovery. He had removed 25 gallons of fuel from the left wing and the right wing was devoid of fuel.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On August 1, 2012, the engine was examined at the manufacturer's facility with oversight provided by an NTSB investigator. The initial examination revealed no impact damage and the engine was not disassembled prior to installation within a test cell. The engine started on the first attempt without hesitation and operated throughout the engine test without hesitation, stumbling, or interruption in power. No malfunctions or abnormalities were noted that would have prevented normal operation. A detailed report accompanies this accident in the docket.

According to the cruise performance section of the Cessna 210 Owner Manual, at 2,500 feet and depending on the cruise power setting the fuel consumption could range from 6.6 gallons per hour and 121 mph (105 kts) up to 14.2 gallons per hour and 181 mph (158 kts). Although an accurate determination of airspeed could not be determined, data obtained from a commercially available flight tracking service revealed that the airplane's groundspeed ranged from 137 to 147 knots. However, that information was based only on the 20 minutes of flight from 1345 until 1405 and showed an altitude of 2,500 feet above mean sea level. The remaining portion of the flight would only provide a "FlightAware Approximate" or "Estimated."

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