Sunday, July 14, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Zenith 601 XL, N105JT; accident occurred October 22, 2018 near Freeman Field Airport (3JC), Junction City, Geary County, Kansas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

https://registry.faa.gov/N105JT

Location: Junction City, KS
Accident Number: GAA19CA037
Date & Time: 10/22/2018, 1830 CDT
Registration: N105JT
Aircraft: Zenith CH601
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot in the experimental amateur-built airplane reported that about 5 minutes after takeoff, he felt air coming into the cockpit from the canopy. He noticed that the canopy latch was not adequately secured and attempted to secure it, but the canopy opened. The airplane became very difficult to control with the canopy open and he made an emergency landing in a cornfield. During landing, the nose wheel collapsed, and the airplane skidded to a stop.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/01/2004
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/26/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 223 hours (Total, all aircraft), 15 hours (Total, this make and model), 160 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenith
Registration: N105JT
Model/Series: CH601 XL
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 6-5291
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/01/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 124.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Jabiru
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 3300A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 120 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFRI, 1065 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2356 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 84°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Junction City, KS (3JC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Junction City, KS (3JC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1830 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: FREEMAN FIELD (3JC)
Runway Surface Type: Dirt; Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1101 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Precautionary Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.043333, -96.843333 (est)