Thursday, February 14, 2019

Runway Excursion: Zenith Zodiac CH650B, N650LN, accident occurred July 02, 2017 at Lazy B Ranch Airport (0P8), Dover, York County, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N650LN 



Location: Dover, PA
Accident Number: ERA17TA233
Date & Time: 07/02/2017, 1325 EDT
Registration: N650LN
Aircraft: LAWRENCE O NOLTE ZODIAC CH650B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test 

Analysis 

The accident flight was the first flight of the Phase 1 test period for the experimental amateur-built airplane. The private pilot stated that, during the flight, while on the crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern, the engine experienced a total loss of power and that he noted that there was no fuel pressure indication or electrical system charge. He unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine with the secondary electric fuel pump and then maneuvered to land the airplane. The pilot reported that the airplane touched down longer and faster than "normal due to a no flap condition" and that the airplane overran the runway, impacted a fence, and came to rest on its nose. The engine mounts and fuselage were substantially damaged.

According to the pilot, the total loss of engine power resulted from an electrical problem due to the use of a lithium motorcycle battery on the airplane, which was not designed for such use, and to his attempt to charge the battery with a charger that was specifically not recommended for use on lithium batteries. The pilot reported that this likely resulted in the battery having a "low charge" at the beginning of the flight. When the alternator subsequently attempted to recharge the battery during the flight, it overheated the battery, which then shut down and resulted in a loss of electrical power 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:
A total loss of engine power as a result of the loss of all electric fuel pumps due to a loss of electric power because of the installation of an improper battery on the airplane and the use of improper charging cables on the battery. 

Findings

Aircraft
Battery/charger - Incorrect use/operation (Cause)
Battery/charger - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)

Personnel issues
Installation - Pilot (Cause)
Scheduled/routine maintenance - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome


Factual Information

On July 2, 2017, about 1325 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Zodiac CH650B, N650LN, was substantially damaged during landing at Lazy B Ranch Airport (0P8), Dover, Pennsylvania. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 test flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was the first flight of the Phase 1 test period for the experimental airplane. During the flight, while on the crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 5, the engine lost total power and the pilot noted that there was no fuel pressure indication or electrical system charge. He attempted to restart the engine with the secondary fuel pump, however, the engine would not start. He maneuvered the airplane to land on runway 5 and stated that the airplane touched down longer and faster than "normal due to a no flap condition." The airplane overran the runway, impacted a fence, and came to rest on its nose.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the airplane, the firewall and engine mounts were substantially damaged. In addition, the alternator and main circuit board were tested with no anomalies noted. The electrical wiring was examined on the airplane with no anomalies noted.

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an experimental airworthiness certificate on December 16, 2016. The two-seat, low wing, monoplane was equipped with a Continental Motors Inc. O-200 series, 100 hp, engine. According to the airframe maintenance logbook, the most recent condition inspection was performed on June 17, 2017, at a total time of 0 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 0.8 hours. According to the pilot, the airplane was equipped with primary and secondary electrically-driven fuel pumps. The airplane was not equipped with an engine-driven fuel pump. In addition, the flaps were electrically actuated.

The pilot reported the battery that was used on the amateur-built airplane was a lithium motorcycle battery and "not intended for use on aircraft." In addition, he had charged that battery with a charger that was specifically not recommended for use on lithium batteries. Since he was attempting to charge the battery with an incompatible charger, he thought that he probably started the flight with "low battery charge." Then, when the alternator was trying to recharge the battery, it overheated, and the battery subsequently shut down, resulting in a loss of electrical power to the airplane. Furthermore, the airplane was not equipped with a backup battery, which he reported could have prevented the accident if it was installed. Lastly, he stated that there was no mechanical malfunction of the airplane, that there was an electrical problem "due to the use of a battery not designed for this application and improper maintenance on that battery." 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 67, 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 Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/09/2017
Flight Time:  400 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 277.7 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 0.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0.3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: LAWRENCE O NOLTE
Registration: N650LN
Model/Series: ZODIAC CH650B NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: 65-8990
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/17/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 0.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors Inc
ELT:  C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-200 series
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 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: THV, 486 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1253 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 203°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Dover, PA (0P8)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Dover, PA (0P8)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: LAZY B RANCH (0P8)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 450 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2600 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  40.022500, -76.816667 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA233
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 02, 2017 in Dover, PA
Aircraft: LAWRENCE O NOLTE ZODIAC CH650B, registration: N650LN
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 2, 2017, about 1325 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Zodiac CH650B, N650LN, was substantially damaged during landing at Lazy B Ranch Airport (0P8), Dover, Pennsylvania. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 test flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was the first flight of the Phase 1 test period for the experimental airplane. During the flight, while on the crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 5, the engine lost total power and the pilot noted that there was no fuel pressure indication or electrical system charge. He attempted to restart the engine with the secondary fuel pump, however, the engine would not start. He maneuvered the airplane to land on runway 5 and stated that the airplane touched down longer and faster than "normal due to a no flap condition." The airplane overran the runway, impacted a fence, and came to rest on its nose.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the airplane, the firewall and engine mounts were substantially damaged.

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an experimental airworthiness certificate on December 16, 2016. The two-seat, low wing, monoplane was equipped with a Continental Motors Inc. O-200 series, 100 hp, engine. According to the airframe maintenance logbook, the most recent condition inspection was performed on June 17, 2017, at a total time of 0 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 0.8 hours. According to the pilot, the airplane was equipped with primary and secondary electrically driven fuel pumps. In addition, the flaps were electrically actuated.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

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