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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN18CA021
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 23, 2017 in Eagle, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/14/2018
Aircraft: CESSNA T210N, registration: N5129C
Injuries: 2 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.

Following a 1.5-hour local flight, the pilot was returning to his home airfield. Due to inbound traffic to the airport, the pilot circled once to the west and descended for the runway. About 8 miles from the runway, he lowered the landing gear and set 10° flaps. While on the base leg, the engine did not respond to the throttle inputs. The pilot switched fuel tanks, turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, and increased the mixture. Engine power was not restored, and the pilot notified the tower that the airplane had a total loss of engine power. Traffic was too heavy on a nearby road, so the pilot performed a forced landing to a vacant field. The airplane touched down, and the pilot applied brakes. The airplane traveled for about 90 ft, hit a ditch, and nosed over.
The pilot reported that he thought that he had about 45 gallons of fuel before takeoff, but he told the Federal Aviation Administration inspector that he had miscalculated his fuel. Only residue fuel was found during recovery of the airplane. The circumstances of the accident are consistent with a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.