This April 2009 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 210. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Edinburg. Texas. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: Shortly after takeoff, the private pilot, who had logged 512 hours, including 262 in the 210, reported engine problems and difficulty maintaining altitude. He initially reported that he would land at a local airport, however, he later stated that he would not make it to that airport. The airplane came down in power lines and ultimately crashed in an orange grove and caught fire. Several areas free of obstacles were located between the point the pilot reported the loss of power and the accident site. An examination of the airplane and related systems revealed no preexisting anomalies.
Probable cause: A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to select a suitable alternate landing site.
For more information: NTSB.gov