Monday, July 24, 2017

Zenith CH 601 XL, N651JL: Accident occurred July 22, 2017 at Aiken Municipal Airport (KAIK), South Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; West Columbia, South Carolina

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA258
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 22, 2017 in Aiken, SC
Aircraft: KUBASSEK DAVID ZENITH 601, registration: N651JL
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 22, 2017, about 1730 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Zenith 601XL, N651JL, was substantially damaged during landing at Aiken Municipal Airport (AIK), Aiken, South Carolina. The commercial pilot was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Hendersonville Airport (0A7), Hendersonville, North Carolina.

In a statement provided to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that after touchdown the airplane began "shaking violently." He pulled back on the yoke, which resulted in a tail strike, the nose gear collapsed when it contacted the ground the second time.

Examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the firewall, leading edge of the left wing, and nose gear. The inspector stated the airplane touched down approximately 800 ft from the threshold of runway 25. About 65 ft from the runway there were tire marks in the grass from the two main wheels and divots from the nose gear fairing.

The two-seat, low wing, tricycle landing gear-equipped airplane, was powered by a Lycoming O-235, 116-horsepower engine.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also possessed an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate.

The 1815 weather at AIK included wind from 180° at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; temperature 32° C; dew point 23° C; and altimeter setting 29.98 inches of mercury.

The airplane was recovered and retained for further examination.

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