Monday, August 6, 2018

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.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania
Jabiru USA; Shelbyville, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


http://registry.faa.gov/N3701M



Location: Albrightsville, PA
Accident Number: ERA17LA016
Date & Time: 10/15/2016, 1540 EDT
Registration: N3701M
Aircraft: HATCHER RODERICK R CH701
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 15, 2016, about 1540 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 1455, 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. The pilot 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 passenger exited the airplane and were met by first responders.

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

The pilot reported that the airplane's fuel tanks were topped off earlier that day with about 20 gallons of fuel, and there were about 15 gallons on board the airplane when the accident flight began.

The airplane was equipped with a Dynon FlightDEK D-180 electronic flight information system (EFIS) and a Garmin GPSMap196, both of which captured the accident flight. According to recovered data, the flight began at 1454 and terminated at 1539. A review of the Dynon engine monitor data showed that engine parameters were normal and stabilized until a decrease in rpm, oil pressure, cylinder head temperature, oil temperature, and exhaust gas temperature simultaneously occurred about 1535:30. The EFIS also confirmed there was fuel in both wing tanks when the loss of engine power occurred.

The airplane was a high wing, tricycle landing gear, short takeoff and landing (STOL) design. It was equipped 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 sent to the Jabiru USA facility at Shelbyville, Tennessee for further examination and a test run.

There was some impact damage to the engine. The engine mounts were bent and the propeller flange had a very slight deformation. The carburetor was filled with oil due to the engine being shipped inverted. The carburetor was removed and the oil was cleaned out. There was no water and no contaminants inside the carburetor other than the engine oil. The carburetor was then reinstalled. The No. 3 cylinder rocker cover was dented from impact and was replaced with a spare for the run. Dried blue residue with the appearance of fuel staining was observed on the outside of the carburetor bowl; however, the carburetor did not leak.

The engine started on the first attempt after engaging the starter for about 2 seconds. The engine initially emitted oily smoke (a light blue/gray color) which cleared after about 8 seconds of operation. The engine was run for about 6 minutes and 30 seconds with no anomalies noted. The engine was run to a peak rpm of 2,670 and oil temperature and pressure were within the green bands. The run was subsequently terminated by the investigation team.

Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO) was located about 12 miles northeast of the accident site. At 1553, about 14 minutes after the accident, the temperature and dew point were 57° and 36° F, respectively. According to the carburetor icing probability chart in FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, dated June 30, 2009, the temperature/dew point conditions were conducive to serious icing at glide power.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/25/2012
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/04/2015
Flight Time:  530 hours (Total, all aircraft), 56 hours (Total, this make and model), 403 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HATCHER RODERICK R
Registration: N3701M
Model/Series: CH701 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 7038
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/18/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 65 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 65 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: JABIRU
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 3300
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 120 hp
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: MPO, 1915 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 30°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Benton, PA (PA40)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Stroudsburg, PA (50PA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1454 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  40.975000, -75.536667 (est)

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.

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