Friday, August 16, 2019

Zenith Zodiac CH-601 XL-B, N662WB: Accident occurred August 15, 2019 in Jamul, San Diego 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; San Diego, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Jamul, CA

Accident Number: WPR19LA222
Date & Time: 08/15/2019, 1000 PDT
Registration: N662WB
Aircraft: ZENITH 601XLB
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 15, 2019, about 1000 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Zenith 601XLB, N662WB, lost total engine power while maneuvering near Jamul, California. The student pilot suffered minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage during an off-airport forced landing. The airplane was registered to the pilot who was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight which departed Gillespie Field Airport (SEE), San Diego/El Cajon, California, about 0935.

The pilot stated that he had just installed a stall warning system in the airplane, and the flight was to test its operation. The airplane was equipped with a fuel-injected, four-cylinder UL260iS engine, manufactured by UL Power.

The initial stages of the flight were uneventful, and after performing a series of turns and stall maneuvers, the pilot initiated a return to the airport. A few seconds later while at an altitude of 2,800 ft mean sea level (about 1,800 ft above ground level), the engine lost all power. The pilot performed troubleshooting steps, including switching the fuel tank selector valve, and engaging the fuel boost pump however he could not get the engine to restart. After the fourth attempt, he decided to perform a forced landing into an open field, and during the landing roll the airplane struck a large rock. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and forward fuselage during the impact.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ZENITH
Registration: N662WB
Model/Series: 601XLB
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: San Diego/El Cajon, CA (SEE)
Destination: San Diego/El Cajon, CA (SEE)

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: 32.702222, -116.867222

SAN DIEGO — A private pilot escaped injury Thursday when the single-engine plane he was flying crash-landed in a field near the Jamul Casino on State Route 94.

The plane came to a stop just 400 feet from the Jamul Casino.

Witnesses watched as the pilot of the single-engine experimental aircraft went down. The skid marks, still visible on the ground.

“I see [sic] the plane come down, down, down and then go down and crash,” said a witness.

Tracie Nelson manages the 6,000-acre ecological preserve where the plane went down. She saw it in the air and then moments later learned about the crash. She was able to talk to the pilot.

“I talked to him. He seems relatively unshaken. He’s not hurt, says his cell dislodged from his pocket and didn’t break, so I think he’s super fortunate,” she said.

The pilot’s name has not been released, but the plane is registered to 66-year-old Richard Burris of Santee.

Experimental planes are common in the area, and Nelson said she sees planes flying low all the time doing practice runs.

The aircraft are often built from kits which must be certified by the FAA.

“They are called experimental because that is the classification. You have a certified aircraft that is built by a manufacturer and it is certified by the FAA and then you have another class, which is experimental,” said Jim Scherrer, who is a pilot.

The pilot told authorities that one of his concerns was making sure he stayed away from any population.

Medics evaluated the pilot -- the sole occupant of the plane at the time of the accident -- at the scene, determining that he was unharmed, said Issac Sanchez, a fire captain with Cal Fire.

It was not immediately clear what led to the hard landing near Jamul Casino.

Story and video ➤

JAMUL (KUSI) – A pilot suffered moderate injuries Thursday when he crashed a single-engine plane in an area east of state Route 94 in Jamul, authorities said.

It was reported shortly after 10 a.m. east of the Jamul Casino, located along state Route 94, according to a California Highway Patrol incident log.

The aircraft ended up on a hillside and was not blocking the roadway, according to the incident log.

Firefighters responded to the scene and contacted the pilot, who was then taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries, Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said.

The pilot was the only person aboard the single-engine private plane, Sanchez said.

The circumstances leading up to the crash were under investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Congrats to the pilot for showing professionalism in a moment that would have panicked most. Sucks the plane got damaged though.

    Hint: Maybe consider an electric conversion and a Siemens prop-hub electric engine as replacement. As electric engines are way more reliable than turbines at this point.

  2. It is not a turbine,it is fitted with a standard Rotax 912 four stroke motor.

  3. I think it was a UL Power 260is.