Saturday, October 15, 2016

Zenith CH-701, N3701M: Accident occurred October 15, 2016 in Albrightsville, Penn Forest Township, Carbon County, Pennsylvania

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -   National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Allentown FSDO-05

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA016
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 15, 2016 in Albrightsville, PA
Aircraft: HATCHER RODERICK R CH701, registration: N3701M
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 15, 2016, at 1535 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Zenith CH701, N3701M, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. The private pilot sustained serious injuries and one passenger had minor injuries. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Benton Airport (PA40), Benton, Pennsylvania about 1450 and was destined for Pegasus Air Park (50PA), Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

The pilot reported that he was about 8 minutes from landing and preparing to descend from 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl) to 1,400 feet msl. The airplane made a "slight lurch" and the engine rpm dropped, followed by a complete loss of power. He placed the carburetor heat to the high setting and established best glide airspeed of 50 to 55 mph. The fuel selector valve was checked and an engine restart was attempted. The engine initially started; however, it would not develop power and shut down after a few seconds. A second restart was attempted with the same results. A third restart was attempted and the engine would turn over but not start. He slowed the airplane as much as possible and prepared for a forced landing into trees. The airplane settled into the trees and came to a stop on its left side. The pilot and his passenger exited the airplane and were met by first responders.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage was confirmed. A cursory examination of the engine and fuel system did not reveal evidence of a mechanical malfunction. 

The airplane was a high wing, tricycle landing gear, short takeoff and landing (STOL) design. It was fitted with a Jabiru 3300A engine and a Sensenich fixed pitch propeller. The total aircraft time at the time of the accident was about 60 hours.

The engine was retained for further examination.

PENN FOREST TOWNSHIP — Two people were taken to the hospital after a small plane crashed in Carbon County.

State police said the plane went down behind a home along Pawnee Trail in Penn Forest Township near Albrightsville around 3:15 p.m.  Saturday.

The pilot and a passenger were taken to the hospital. There is no word on the extent of their injuries.

Troopers said the plane was headed to Saylorsburg when the pilot said there were engine troubles.

NTSB and FAA investigators will investigate what led to the crash.


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