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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN14LA345
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 02, 2014 in Las Vegas, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/03/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 210L, registration: N1175Q
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot reported that, when the airplane was about 200 ft above the ground on final approach after a cross-country flight, he saw vehicles and flashers on the runway. He attempted to abort the landing and started climbing the airplane, but the fuel “started cutting out," and he subsequently lost airplane control.
A postaccident examination of the airplane, engine, and systems revealed no anomalies. There was no evidence of a fuel spill, and no fuel was visible within the wing fuel tanks. The fuel monitoring instrument indicated that 288 gallons of fuel were used and that 0 gallon of fuel was remaining. The airplane’s total fuel capacity was 90 gallons; therefore, it is apparent that the pilot did not reset the fuel monitoring instrument after the airplane was refueled, which resulted in the instrument indicating an inaccurate fuel quantity. It is not known how much fuel was on board the airplane before its departure or whether it would have been sufficient to complete the trip.
At the time of the accident, the runway was undergoing construction activities, and a notice to airmen (NOTAM) had been issued to close the runway for a period of about 3 days, including the accident date. Based on the evidence, it is likely that the pilot did not conduct adequate preflight planning, which resulted in his lack of awareness that the runway was closed by a NOTAM and his subsequent attempt to abort the landing. Further, his inadequate preflight planning did not ensure that there was sufficient fuel on board for the flight, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the subsequent loss of engine power during the aborted landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's loss of airplane control during an aborted landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in his attempt to land on a runway closed by a notice to airmen and the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.