Power loss leads to highway landing

This August 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 310.
Location: Brownsburg, Ind.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: Upon approaching the destination airport the pilot was cleared to descend to 3,000 feet and advised of construction equipment on the airport. The pilot reported he had the airport in sight and he closed his instrument flight plan. The pilot reported that shortly thereafter the right engine began to sputter and lose power. The pilot wasn’t sure if he could make it to the airport.

He saw the nearby highway and decided to land on it because it was relatively empty due to road construction. The touch down was normal but during the rollout the right wing tip tank contacted a construction road grader. The tip tank, wing ribs, and aileron were substantially damaged. Inspection of the airplane failed to reveal any mechanical malfunction of the airplane or engine.

Probable cause: The pilot’s poor in-flight planning to make an off airport precautionary landing and his failure to maintain clearance from the construction equipment during the landing roll. Contributing to the accident was the construction equipment.

For more information: NTSB.gov


  1. John L, Wesley says

    Why could a 310 not make the airport on one engine, sounds like poor piloting also a very big factor,

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