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N206TF accident description

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Crash location 39.667778°N, 74.309167°W
Nearest city West Creek, NJ
39.634563°N, 74.307088°W
2.3 miles away
Tail number N206TF
Accident date 12 Jun 2017
Aircraft type Cessna P206
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 12, 2017, about 2255 eastern daylight time, a Cessna P206A, N206TF, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while on approach to Eagles Nest Airport (31E), West Creek, New Jersey. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a post-maintenance flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed but not activated for the flight that originated about 1 hour earlier from Danbury Municipal Airport (DXR), Danbury, Connecticut.

Two days earlier, 4 repaired cylinders were installed on the airplane's engine that required break-in. In preparation of the flight to break-in the cylinders, the pilot personally spoke with the mechanic and was given the procedures, which included operation of the engine at full rich, and to monitor the cylinder head temperature (CHT). He was also informed to check the fuselage belly for fresh oil. The pilot reported he personally filled both fuel tanks, bringing the total usable capacity in each tank to 31.5 gallons. He then flew the airplane on an uneventful 1 hour flight from 31E to DXR. The entire flight was performed with the fuel selector on the right tank, the mixture control in the full rich position, and the engine operating at 24 inches manifold pressure and 2,400 rpm. No engine discrepancies were noted during the flight, and no fuel was purchased while at DXR.

Prior to departing DXR for the return flight to 31E, the pilot stated that he performed a "quick preflight inspection", and although the airplane was equipped with a dipstick to check the fuel quantity, he did not use it during his preflight inspection. The airplane departed with the fuel selector on the left tank position, the mixture control in the full rich position, and climbed at full power to 7,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The pilot maintained 24 inches manifold pressure and 2,400 rpm (same engine settings as the first leg), and flew to 31E while periodically scanning the engine gauges. While on final approach to runway 14, he realized the "sight picture" was not correct, and performed a go-around. He climbed to between 1,000 and 1,200 ft msl, then turned onto the crosswind and downwind legs of the airport traffic pattern. While on the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern between 1,200 and 1,500 ft msl, before midfield, with the auxiliary fuel pump on, the engine sputtered and quit, and the propeller stopped. The pilot attempted to restart the engine which consisted of moving the fuel selector to the right tank position, verifying the mixture control was full rich, and advancing the throttle, but the engine did not restart. He turned onto the base leg of the airport traffic pattern, and flew towards the runway while maintaining best glide speed of 80 knots; however, the airplane impacted trees then the ground about 1/4 nautical mile before the runway, and came to rest inverted. The fuel selector was not moved before exiting the airplane.

Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed the fuel selector was positioned to the left fuel tank. About 2.5 gallons of fuel were drained from it which was breached in 2 locations, while about 6 ounces of fuel were drained from the un-breached right fuel tank. The ground beneath the left wing smelled of fuel, while the ground beneath the right fuel tank did not smell of fuel, and no fuel blight to vegetation was noted beneath the right fuel tank. No fuel stains were noted aft of either fuel cap. One propeller blade was slightly bent.

Examination of the airplane by the same FAA inspector following recovery revealed fuel was present at the inlet and outlet of the auxiliary fuel pump, but no fuel was present at the inlet or outlet of the engine-driven fuel pump, or at the flow divider/manifold valve. With battery power applied, and a fuel supply provided, the auxiliary fuel pump provided fuel to the inlet and outlet of the engine-driven fuel pump. This was repeated with the fuel selector positioned to the left and right tank positions. There were no reported issues with the aircraft's fuel system. The propeller was rotated by hand and with a spark plug removed from each cylinder, suction and compression was noted in each cylinder. Also during hand rotation, the magnetos produced spark at all spark plugs. A temporary fuel supply was plumbed into the aircraft's fuel system, and the engine was started and operated for about 12 seconds. Safety concerns prevented a prolonged run or operation at a high power setting. No discrepancies were noted during the engine run.

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