Aviation safety investigations & reports

Total power loss - Cessna 210L, VH-FTM, Casuarina Beach, Darwin NT, 10 July 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 10 July 2010, a Cessna Aircraft Company 210L aircraft, registered VH-FTM, was returning to Darwin aerodrome, Northern Territory (NT) after completing a scenic charter flight around the Katherine and Kakadu, NT areas.

During the approach, the pilot reported that the aircraft 'went quiet' and the engine revolutions per minute (RPM) decreased. The pilot initiated the
in-flight engine failure procedure, but the engine did not respond. After assessing the situation, the pilot determined that a landing at Darwin was not achievable and elected to land the aircraft on Casuarina Beach, NT. During the landing, the nose wheel separated from the aircraft. The pilot and five passengers exited the aircraft uninjured.

While a subsequent engineering examination and operational test of the aircraft's engine and fuel system was unable to determine the cause of the failure, the operator advised the ATSB that fuel vaporisation could have been a possible factor. As a precaution, the operator's pilots will be briefed on the in-flight restart procedure for fuel vaporisation.

This incident highlights the importance of knowing an aircraft's performance limitations and selecting an appropriate landing area within the gliding distance of the aircraft.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.37MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 2.86MB]
General details
Date: 10 July 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1645 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Casuarina Beach, Darwin    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 28 January 2011   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 210  
Aircraft registration VH-FTM  
Serial number 21061159  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Cooinda, NT  
Destination Darwin, NT  
Last update 14 November 2018