Sunday, September 01, 2019

Fuel Related: Zenith STOL CH750, N946JY; accident occurred September 10, 2018 near Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (KTPL), Temple, Bell County, Texas

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 Antonio, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Temple, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA385
Date & Time: 09/10/2018, 0845 CDT
Registration: N946JY
Aircraft: Zenair ZENITH CH 750
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel related
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 10, 2018, about 0845 central daylight time, a Lynch Zenith 750 experimental amateur-built airplane, N946JY, impacted soft terrain during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power during initial climb near Temple, Texas. The private pilot sustained minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight departed the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, Temple, Texas.

According to the pilot, he had recently completed the building of the airplane and was operating under the phase 1 flight test experimental operating limitations. Prior to takeoff, he completed a preflight, engine start, and two engine run-ups. No abnormal engine indications or anomalies were noted during those tasks. Shortly after takeoff about 400 ft above ground level, the engine began to vibrate, and a partial loss of power was noticed by the pilot. The pilot suspected carburetor icing and applied carburetor heat. No change to the engine power was observed. Due to the low altitude, the pilot elected not to make a turn back to the runway and to execute a forced landing to a field that was in front of him. The airplane touched down in a soft field, and the nose gear collapsed. The airplane skidded about 20 yards and came to rest upright.

The pilot departed with about 24 gallons of fuel in the fuel tanks. After the accident, no fuel was found to be leaking from the airplane. The pilot reported that he should have applied carburetor heat prior to takeoff to clear any potential icing buildup during taxi from ramp and subsequent engine run-ups.

The pilot stated the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane and did not find any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The carburetor icing probability chart included in Federal Aviation Administration Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin No. CE-09-35, Carburetor Icing Prevention, indicated that the airplane was operating in an area that was associated with a serious risk of carburetor ice accumulation at glide power settings (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - FAA Carburetor Icing Probability Chart 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 71, 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 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/05/2017
Flight Time:  294 hours (Total, all aircraft), 8 hours (Total, this make and model), 282 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenair
Registration: N946JY
Model/Series: ZENITH CH 750 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 75-10010
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/30/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 3 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3.4 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: General Motors
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: Corvair
Registered Owner: Harold David Lynch
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: TPL, 682 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0851 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 200°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 20°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Temple, TX (TPL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Temple, TX (TPL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0840 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

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: 31.173056, -97.413333 (est)


  1. In my PPL training, we only used carb heat under 2100 rpms (C172N in decent, then usually off in the pattern until turning base leg). I don't ever recall having to use it at full power. Now I feel like I need to go back and do a little refreshing to make sure I'm not putting myself at risk in my understanding of how/when carb ice can occur.

  2. One wonders at what point between engine run up and climb to 400 ft did the pilot use glide power and allow ice to build up in the carburetor. Just because NTSB could not figure out what caused the engine failure does not mean it failed because of carb ice.

  3. 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

    71 YO. Go figure. Hang it up dude.

  4. This guy should have his medical taken away! That other poster is correct! Hang it up!!! This guy is wayyy to old to be flying! And not to mention putting other people at risk. Most of them old timers just sit around and talk. Don't even actually do any flying. And here you go, one is involved in an accident. This guy flew prob 4 hours max A YEAR

  5. Hang it up. Why? I’d like to know if the guys so “out of it” how did he build an airplane? He probably knows more about aviation than all the people in this form combined. What stupid comment some of you make.