Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Zenith Zodiac 601XL, N167EZ: Accident occurred May 29, 2017 in Sanford, Lee County, North Carolina

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

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


NTSB Identification: ERA17LA196
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 29, 2017 in Sanford, NC
Aircraft: ERNEST T CHRISTLEY ZENITH ZODIAC 601XL, registration: N167EZ
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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.

601XL, N167EZ, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at Sanford, North Carolina. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and 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 local flight originated at Deck Airpark (NC11), Apex, North Carolina at 1145.

The pilot reported that he was returning to his home airport, and the airplane was at 6,000 feet mean sea level, when the engine lost all power. He noticed that the right fuel tank was empty; however, he thought that the engine was feeding from the left tank. He attempted a restart, and the engine momentarily started, then lost power again. Unable to restart the engine, he performed a forced landing in a plowed field.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The nose gear collapsed during the forced landing, resulting in structural damage to the lower fuselage and engine firewall. The engine and propeller were undamaged. The right fuel tank was empty and the left tank contained fuel. The fuel tank selector handle in the cockpit was found at the left tank position; however, the fuel tank valve remained in the right tank position and could not be moved to the left tank position.

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