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N3320S accident description

Kansas map... Kansas list
Crash location 37.746666°N, 99.967500°W
Nearest city Dodge City, KS
37.752798°N, 100.017079°W
2.7 miles away
Tail number N3320S
Accident date 14 Jan 2015
Aircraft type Cessna 210J
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On January 14, 2014, about 0915 central daylight time, a Cessna 210J airplane, N3320S, registered to the pilot, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing after a loss of engine power about 1 mile from the Dodge City Airport (DDC), Dodge City, Kansas. The private pilot sustained serious injuries and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The cross country flight was being conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated at 0820 from Wellington Municipal Airport (EGT), Wellington, Kansas, and was enroute to DDC.

According to the pilot, he had departed EGT with both fuel tank gauges showing about 1/4 fuel remaining each tank. The left fuel tank was selected at takeoff from EGT. At a cruising altitude of 4.500 feet (after about 20 minutes of flight), the pilot switched to the right fuel tank. The pilot noticed that the right fuel tank gauge dropped unusually fast and was near empty about 8-10 miles from DDC. The pilot then selected the left fuel tank and entered a left downwind for runway 32 at DDC. As the pilot turned onto base leg, the engine lost power and did not restart. The pilot tuned on the fuel boost pump and tried again to restart the engine with no success. The pilot then switched back to the right tank and made another restart attempt with no success. The airplane had descended to about 250 feet AGL and the pilot maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing.

The airplane impacted the ground just short of a county road, about 1 mile from the airport. A witness saw the airplane losing altitude while in a turn, and then impact the ground.

According to on scene observations by an FAA inspector, the engine was found mostly detached from the airframe and was lying on the ground in front of the airplane. Both main landing gear were still attached and the nose gear was extended. The landing gear lever was down and the flaps were set at 20 degrees. The fuel selector valve was found selected to the left wing tank. The three bladed propeller blades were bent upward from impact but did not show curling or twisting. There were no propeller strike marks on the ground.

The left wing was found broken open near the wing roots. The airframe gascolator had enough fuel to fill the bowl. No fuel came out of the disconnected fuel feeder line. At post-crash disassembly, neither wing contained any fuel. A certificated aircraft mechanic from nearby Dodge City Airport said that he arrived within 15 minutes of the accident. He did not discern any odor of aviation gasoline in the air or on the ground.

The pilot offered a safety recommendation included in his submitted NTSB Form 6120. He stated that more accurate fuel management and awareness would have prevented the accident. He stated that the flight hours in his pilot log indicated that he had enough fuel for the flight from EGT to DDC, after his most recent top-off refueling. He felt that he most likely had flown the airplane 20-30 minutes more than his pilot logs indicated. He stated that fuel tanks should visually inspected prior to flight.

NTSB Probable Cause

The loss of engine power on approach due to fuel exhaustion, which resulted from the pilot's improper preflight fuel planning and inspection.

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