Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Zenith STOL CH 701, N999WX: Accident occurred June 18, 2017 near Fremont County Airport (1V6), Canon City, Fremont County, Colorado

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Canon City, CO
Accident Number: CEN17LA236
Date & Time: 06/18/2017, 0715 MDT
Registration: N999WX
Aircraft:  WELLS JOHN L JR STOL CH 701
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test


The commercial pilot reported that, during initial climb after takeoff, the amateur-built airplane's engine experienced a partial loss of power. As he attempted to return to the airport, the engine lost total power. He subsequently conducted a forced landing on rough terrain, during which the right wing and fuselage sustained damage.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the fuel hose from the left wing tank had deteriorated from the inside, which would have restricted the flow of fuel to the engine and led to fuel starvation and the subsequent loss of engine power. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Fuel starvation due to the deterioration of a fuel hose.


Fuel distribution - Damaged/degraded (Cause)
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Environmental issues
Rough terrain - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

On June 18, 2017, about 715 mountain daylight time, an amateur-built Wells STOL CH701 airplane, N999WX, sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and firewall during a forced landing to a field near Canon City, Colorado, after the airplane's engine lost power during initial climb after takeoff from the Fremont County Airport (1V6), Canon City, Colorado. The pilot received minor injuries. 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. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating from 1V6 when the accident occurred.

The pilot reported that the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power during initial climb about 6,500 feet msl. As he attempted to return to 1V6, the engine suddenly lost complete power. A forced landing was completed to rough terrain. The airplane incurred damage to the right wing and fuselage during the landing attempt. The pilot reported that after the accident he found that the fuel hose from the left fuel tank had deteriorated from the inside causing an obstruction to the normal flow of fuel.

History of Flight

Initial climb
Fuel starvation (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)

Emergency descent
Off-field or emergency landing

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 74, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: 
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time: 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: WELLS JOHN L JR
Registration: N999WX
Model/Series: STOL CH 701 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 7-6078
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/21/2016, Conditional
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: 
Engine Model/Series: 
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 
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: FCS, 5874 ft msl
Observation Time: 1258 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 225°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 7°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 4600 ft agl
Visibility:  9 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 160°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Canon City, CO (1V6)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Canon City, CO (1V6)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0715 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type:  
Airport Elevation: 5442 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Rough; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 38.428611, -105.106944

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