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On 3 May 2015, after a five-hour flight, a Cessna 210 aircraft, registered VH-BKD, arrived overhead Broome Airport and extensive fog. After circling for about 45 minutes searching for a break in the fog, the pilot conducted a low-level pass over the runway but was unable to sight the runway or land.

Moments later, the aircraft’s engine surged and spluttered. The pilot quickly changed the fuel selector to the other (left) tank, but the engine did not respond. The pilot conducted a forced landing, and the aircraft struck a dirt mound and slid across a dirt track, coming to rest in mangroves.

The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft was not injured, however the aircraft was substantially damaged.

The ATSB publication Starved and exhausted: Fuel management aviation accidents has information for pilots about similar incidents and strategies to avoid fuel exhaustion and starvation incidents.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 43

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General details
Date: 03 May 2015 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0725 WST  
Location   (show map): 3 km East Broome Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Fuel starvation 
Release date: 07 October 2015 Occurrence class: Infrastructure 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 210N 
Aircraft registration: VH-BKD 
Serial number: 21063127 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Alice Springs, NT
Destination:Broome, WA
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Last update 02 November 2017