The private pilot reported that, when the Cessna 210 was about 200 feet above the ground on final approach to Las Vegas, N.M., after a cross-country flight, he saw vehicles and flashers on the runway.
He attempted to abort the landing and started climbing the airplane, but the fuel “started cutting out,” and he subsequently lost control.
There was no evidence of a fuel spill, and no fuel was visible within the wing fuel tanks.
The fuel monitoring instrument indicated that 288 gallons of fuel were used and that 0 gallons of fuel was remaining. The airplane’s total fuel capacity was 90 gallons, therefore, it is apparent the pilot did not reset the fuel monitoring instrument after the airplane was refueled, which resulted in the instrument indicating an inaccurate fuel quantity.
It is not known how much fuel was on board the airplane before its departure or whether it would have been sufficient to complete the trip.
At the time of the accident, the runway was undergoing construction activities, and a notice to airmen (NOTAM) had been issued to close the runway for a period of about three days, including the date of the accident.
Based on the evidence, it is likely that the pilot did not conduct adequate preflight planning, which resulted in his lack of awareness that the runway was closed by a NOTAM and his subsequent attempt to abort the landing.
Further, his inadequate preflight planning did not ensure that there was sufficient fuel on board for the flight, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the subsequent loss of engine power during the aborted landing.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s loss of airplane control during an aborted landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in his attempt to land on a runway closed by a notice to airmen and the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: CEN14LA345
This July 2014 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.