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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.

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General details
Date: 10 July 2010 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1645 CST  
Location   (show map):Casuarina Beach, Darwin Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction 
Release date: 28 January 2011 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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
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Last update 14 November 2018