Saturday, July 15, 2017

STOL CH 701, N422ES: Accident occurred July 15, 2017 in Kenwood, Sonoma County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA156
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Kenwood, CA
Aircraft: SIMMONS GARY F STOL CH 701, registration: N422ES
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.

On July 15, 2017, at 1140 Pacific daylight time, an experimental kit-built Simmons STOL CH 701, N422ES, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a small field following a loss of engine power near Kenwood, California. The pilot/owner, the sole occupant, was not injured. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Cloverdale Municipal Airport (O60), Cloverdale, California, and was destined for Sonoma Skypark Airport (0Q9), Sonoma, California. No flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported while in cruise flight there was a "severe vibration" that emanated from the engine and he was able to see cooling fluid leaking from the engine. Within 30 seconds the engine lost power. The pilot set up to land in a small narrow field surround by grape vineyards. He stated that during the approach, he could not line up with the field properly, and during the landing roll, the airplane slipped into a ditch, coming to rest nose down.

The pilot of a small, private plane was uninjured Saturday afternoon after making an emergency landing in a field south of Kenwood, authorities said.

The plane landed in the field just off Highway 12 and west of Dunbar Road at 12:20 p.m., said Kenwood Fire District Chief Daren Bellach.

The pilot, whose name was not available, told emergency personnel that he had engine trouble, Bellach said. “He nosed (the plane) right into a ditch,” he said.

The FAA identified the aircraft as a homebuilt STOL 701, which stands for “short takeoff and landing,” said spokesman Ian Gregor. The agency will investigate the incident, Gregor said.

Bellach said the plane was heading toward Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport. The FAA registry listed the plane’s owner out of Petaluma.

The incident comes after a Sonoma Valley plane crash Thursday that killed a University of San Francisco history professor and injured his two children and caretaker.

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