Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CEN17LA157

Minden, LA, USA

Aircraft #1




The pilot and passenger were on a cross-country personal flight in a single-engine airplane. As the airplane approached the destination airport, the engine lost power. The pilot turned on the fuel boost pump and switched fuel tanks, but engine power was not restored. The pilot selected a field for a forced landing, during which the airplane impacted a tree and sustained substantial damage to the left wing. During the recovery of the airplane, about 5 gallons of fuel were drained from each wing fuel tank. An engine test run was conducted by connecting a fuel line to the airplane's right-side fuel line. The fuel boost pump was operated, and the engine started and ran with no anomalies. A review of the airplane type certificate data sheet indicated that the airplane was equipped with two wing fuel tanks for a total capacity of 65 gallons, with useable fuel of 55 gallons. Given the available information, it is likely the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion.

Factual Information

***This report was modified on July 2, 2020. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.*** On April 15, 2017, about 1150 central daylight time, a Cessna 210 airplane, N7358E, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Minden Airport (MNE) Minden, Louisiana. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations 91 personal flight. The pilot reported he planned to fly to MNE, then to the Thomas P Stafford Airport (OJA),Weatherford, Oklahoma. As he approached MNE, he listened to the AWOS (Automated Weather Reporting Station) and set up for a left turn to runway 19. About 1,500 ft and 3 miles from the runway, the engine rpms dropped and the engine lost power. He reported he immediately switched fuel tanks; from the right to the left tank, which indicated a little over a quarter of a tank and activated the fuel boost pump. Engine power was not restored, and he selected a hay field for the forced landing. The responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector noted the airplane's left wing had impacted a tree during the landing. The airplane also had a collapsed nose wheel and a bent right main landing gear. Visual inspection of the airplane noted that engine's oil dip stick indicated a minimal amount of oil, the right fuel tank contained about 3 inches of fuel, and the left fuel tank contained about 1.5 inches of fuel. During recovery of the accident airplane, the recovery crew drained about 5 gallons of fuel from each wing. The airplane was transported back to Oklahoma where a mechanic attached a fuel line to the airplane's right-side fuel line and operated the fuel boost pump. The engine started and ran normally. A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed the annual maintenance inspection had expired on February 28, 2017. A review of the airplane's TCDS (Type Certificate Data Sheet), revealed the airplane was equipped with two wing fuel tanks for a total capacity of 65 gallons and 55 gallons useable.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilot's inadequate fuel planning and in-flight fuel monitoring, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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