In preparation for a local flight, the pilot performed a preflight inspection of the Cessna 210, which included checking the fuel gauges, but he did not look into the fuel tanks to verify the fuel quantity.
He recalled that both fuel gauges indicated below half full.
The engine start, taxi, and run-up were performed uneventfully, however, several minutes after takeoff, the engine lost all power.
The pilot was unable to restart the engine and performed a forced landing to a cornfield about six miles north of the departure airport in Oneonta, N.Y. The forced landing was performed with the landing gear retracted, and the airplane came to rest upright, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage.
Due to injuries sustained in the accident, the pilot had no further recollection of the accident flight.
Examination of the wreckage revealed that the left main fuel tank had about five gallons of fuel remaining and that the right main fuel tank had no fuel. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right main fuel tank.
No fuel was found in the fuel line connecting the gascolator to the engine-driven fuel pump and in the fuel line connecting the engine-driven fuel pump to the fuel flow divider.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection and fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.
NTSB Identification: ERA15LA258
This July 2015 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.