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N6886R accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Lyons, CO
40.224708°N, 105.271378°W

Tail number N6886R
Accident date 03 Jun 2001
Aircraft type Cessna T210G
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On June 3, 2001, at 0955 mountain daylight time, a Cessna T210G, N6886R, collided with trees on the north peak of Rabbit Mountain and was destroyed by impact forces when it descended uncontrollably into a ravine approximately 7 miles northwest of Vance Brand Airport (2V2), Longmont, Colorado. The commercial and instrument rated pilot and his two passengers were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for this cross-country flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight, to Lexington (LXN), Nebraska, departed Vance Brand Airport at 0953.

According to witnesses at the departure airport, the weather was cool and humid with light winds, a visibility of 3 to 4 miles and a ceiling of 300 to 700 feet. They observed the aircraft as it made a "very flat, but fast," departure from runway 29. The "engine and prop sounds seemed normal for a full-power takeoff." They ran to the north side of their hanger for an unrestricted view of the sky west to north to see when the airplane would disappear into the clouds. At about 500 feet above ground level, it entered the clouds. Shortly thereafter, it re-emerged from the cloud base and proceeded out of visual range to the northwest. Their initial thoughts were "that the pilot must have been trying to stay out of the clouds so he could depart the area in VFR (visual flight rules) conditions, and commented to each other on the pilot's proximity to Rabbit Mountain."

Witnesses at the accident site stated that the visibility was approximately 100 feet and the ceiling was approximately 100 feet at the time of the accident. A witness, who observed the impact, stated that he heard the airplane's engine "rev up to full throttle," while it was still in the clouds and that the airplane was traveling about "90 to 100 miles per hour" and in a very steep decent when it emerged from the clouds. He stated that the airplane hit the ground first with its left wing and then bounced and rolled into the gulch.


A review of FAA records revealed that the pilot was an instrument rated commercial pilot in airplane single engine land aircraft. He held a third class medical certificate, dated January 23, 2001, with a limitation that required him to wear corrective lenses while performing the duties of a pilot. On the application for the medical certificate, the pilot reported his total flight in all aircraft as 2,440 hours.

According to the pilot's flight log, the last entry dated April 24, 2001, was a 1.7 hour cross-country flight with an instructor. This was his flight review and it included 0.9 hours of simulated instrument time. The pilot's flight time at the completion of the flight review was 2,680.1 hours in all aircraft; 2,530.6 hours as pilot in command; 86.3 hours of actual instrument; 70.3 hours of simulated instrument; 32.8 hours of night and 3.1 hours of multi-engine land. An accurate account of flight time following April 24, 2001, and up to the date of the accident could not be determined. The pilot's last recorded flight that included actual instrument flight time was on January 24, 2000. It was a 10.5 hour cross-country flight that included a segment of 3.5 hours of actual instrument flight time.


The accident aircraft was built in 1967, serial number T210-0286, and was equipped with a Teledyne Continental TSIO-520-C turbocharged reciprocating engine (serial number 140481-7-C) and a 3-bladed McCauley propeller (model number D3A32C88-M, serial number 711995, with blade serial numbers; IC105YS, IB118YS, and IB119YS respectively.

According to the aircraft maintenance records, the airplane underwent its last annual inspection on May 16, 2001, at an aircraft total time of 2,340.0 hours. At the time of the annual inspection, the engine had accumulated 1,299.0 hours and 258.0 hours since its last overhaul.


At 0726, the pilot contacted the Denver Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS), in Englewood, Colorado, and requested an en route weather briefing, VFR if possible. The air traffic control Specialist who took his call provided the weather information pertaining to the local conditions and the forecast conditions for his intended route. She advised him that along his entire route there were Airmets for turbulence and IFR conditions and a cold front, which included thunderstorm activity. She provided him a VNR statement (indicating that VFR flight was not recommended).

At 0945, the reported weather at Broomfield-Jefferson County (Jeffco) Airport (BJC), Broomfield, Colorado, (approximately 18 nautical miles south of the accident site) was; wind, variable at 6 knots; visibility, 1 statute mile with mist; sky condition, overcast at 100 feet; temperature, 13 degrees C. (55.4 degrees F.); dew point, 12 degrees C. (53.6 degrees F.); altimeter setting, 29.73. At 1119, a special weather report at Denver International Airport (DEN) was, wind, 080 degrees at 5 knots; visibility, 1/8 statute mile with mist; sky condition, overcast at 100 feet; temperature, 13 degrees C. (55.4 degrees F.); dew point, 12 degrees C. (53.6 degrees F.); altimeter setting, 29.71.


The wreckage was located approximately 7 nautical miles northwest of the departure airport and 4 nautical miles northeast of Lyons, Colorado, just east of Dakota Ridge Road in a gulch at a latitude and longitude of 40 degrees 15.354 minutes north and 105 degrees 13.870 minutes west, and at an elevation of approximately 5,645 feet msl. The ground scars and crater left by the airplane, and the location and condition of the wreckage in reference to the point of impact, indicate that it impacted the ground in a steep nose down and inverted attitude. The ground surrounding the impact point was rough, uneven and uncultivated sloping terrain. It included solid rock, hard dirt and gravel, and was covered with grass and other low vegetation.

An initial ground scar approximately 1 foot wide and 15 feet long and on a heading of 218 degrees, lead up to the main impact crater. At the beginning of this ground scar, red glass fragments were found. All three propeller blades, spinner, the forward section of the propeller hub, both magneto's, and portions of the nose and engine cowling remained in the ground at the main impact crater. A shorter ground scar, indicating the impact of the right wing, lead out of the main impact crater in the opposite direction of the scar left by the left wing. The main wreckage came to rest in a dry gulch approximately 120 feet and at a heading of approximately 260 degrees from the main impact point. The main wreckage included the fuselage, empennage, including the vertical and horizontal flight control surfaces, the complete left wing, and fragmented portions of the right wing.

A strong odor of fuel was present at the accident site and fuel kill was noted on the surrounding vegetation beginning at the main impact point and covering the area around the impact point and well past the main wreckage. Oil splatter was present in the surrounding impact area. There were no signs of a post crash fire.

After the initial inspection of the accident site, it was determined that approximately 5 feet of the outboard portion of the right wing, including the leading edge, main spar, aileron and wing tip, could not be accounted for. After an examination of the surrounding area, airplane wreckage and debris was located on a hillside east of the main impact point and it was determined that the airplane had struck trees at the top of an adjacent mountain.

Three 15 foot tall trees, on the north peak of Rabbit Mountain at 6,100 feet msl, approximately 1,000 feet to the east and approximately 500 feet higher then the impact point had been struck by the right wing of the airplane. The impact of the wing against the trees left paint and sheet metal fragments in the bark and branches of the trees. The airplane's right wing tip faring, the white right hand navigation light, and several sheet metal fragments matching the accident aircraft were found in the vicinity. Several other pieces of the aircraft's outboard right wing, including portions of the main spar and aileron were located just over the edge of the cliff and scattered down the face of the mountain towards the main impact point.

Further examination of the accident site revealed that the engine's turbocharger, located approximately 90 feet and at heading of approximately 250 degrees from the main impact point, had left burn marks on the ground and surrounding grass where it came to rest. In addition, there was an oxygen bottle installed in the airplane. It was still pressured, but the gauge was broken.

A manufacturer's representative from Teledyne Continental Motors, who examined the engine at the site, stated that the engine was still attached to the fuselage and the aft portion of the propeller hub remained attached to the propeller flange. The oil cooler had been pushed back into cylinder #5. The exhaust, induction and fuel injector systems had been broken off. The oil sump was crushed and broken. All cylinders, except for #5 had chrome markings. All rocker box covers, except #4, were broken. The tops of cylinders #1 and #6 were "severely" broken. The propeller governor was broken off. The accessory section was "severely" damaged. Most of the fuel pump was broken off. The starter, hydraulic pump and vacuum pump were broken off and the vacuum pump was not located. All three-propeller blades were bent and twisted and each had leading edge damage and chordwise scratches.

A manufacturer's representative from Cessna said that the throttle, mixture and propeller control levers were in the full in position. The left and right main gear, and nose landing gear, were all in the retracted/up position. The fuel selector lever was found in the left on position. Due to the extent of damage to the airplane, few readable gauges and switches were located. Flight control continuity for the aileron’s, rudder, elevator, elevator trim, and flaps, were unable to be determined. The tachometer indicated a reading of 1600 rpm. The hobbs meter indicated a reading of 1,299.0 hours. The altimeter indicated approximately 5,500 feet, and it was set to 29.69.

There was no record of fuel purchased at the departure airport and the amount of fuel on board the airplane at the time of the accident was unable to be determined. However, based on the amount of baggage collected at the site, the items located in the airplane, and using the weights indicated on the driver's licenses of the pilot and passengers, the Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) of the accident, determined that the airplane was within its gross weight and center of gravity (CG) limits at the time of takeoff and at the time of the accident.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Boulder Community Hospital, Boulder, Colorado, on June 5, 2001.

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report (#200100143001), the pilot's blood was not tested for carbon monoxide and cyanide; his urine was tested for volatiles (ethanol) with negative results. Twelve (mg/dL, mg/hg) of ethanol was detected in muscle however; ethanol found in this case was due to postmortem ethanol formation. No drugs were detected in the liver.


Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) located in Longmont, Colorado, provided radar data. The radar data provides 15 radar points, which include 14 radar returns and 1 primary radar hit. The initial radar contact, at 9:53.36, at a latitude and longitude of 40 degrees 10.580 minutes north and 105 degrees 10.370 minutes west and an altitude of 5,400 feet msl, identifies the accident aircraft approximately 1 nautical mile northwest of the departure airport. The initial radar track, which includes eight radar points, was in a northerly heading for approximately 2.5 nautical miles. The next six radar points were in a north by northwest heading for approximately 2 nautical miles and the final radar point indicates a heading to the north. The last radar return was at 9:55.48 and at 6,400 feet msl, and the final primary radar hit was at 9:55.58, at a latitude and longitude of 40 degrees 15.220 minutes north and 105 degrees 12.000 minutes west with an unknown altitude. This last radar point was approximately 1.5 nautical miles directly east of the initial impact with the trees on the north Peak of Rabbit Mountain.

A manufacturer's representative from Cessna, examined a gyro that was separated from its housing. He identified it as being the gyro for the attitude indicator. It was disassembled, and the examination revealed that the gyro housing and rotor had rotational scoring on the sides and bottom.


The airplane wreckage was released to the owner's representative on June 4, 2001.

(c) 2009-2018 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.