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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN14CA106
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 08, 2014 in Pagosa Springs, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA P210N, registration: N4817K
Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot and his two passengers departed on a local pleasure flight. Right after takeoff, engine oil covered the windscreen and the engine began to lose power. According to a video of the accident, the pilot made a tear-drop turn in an attempt to land on the opposite runway. The airplane lost altitude during the turn and the pilot overshot the runway. The pilot said that as he crossed over the runway, he reduced power to idle. As the pilot attempted to turn back toward the runway, he turned off the master switch. The airplane descended quickly and landed adjacent to the runway in packed snow. The airplane landed hard on the main landing gear and with the right wing low before it slid for about 300 feet resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing. The landing gear, right flap, left wing tip, and all three propeller blades were also damaged. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed the oil filler cap was not secured to the oil filler neck. The pilot said this was the first flight after the oil had been changed by a maintenance facility. He did not check the oil filler cap before the flight because it was not required per the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved preflight inspection checklist.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection which led to a loss of oil pressure and partial loss of engine power on takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to check the security of the oil filler cap prior to the flight.