Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Zenith STOL CH 701, N3784A: Accident occurred October 19, 2019 near Safford Regional Airport (KSAD), Graham County, Arizona

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

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


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


https://registry.faa.gov/N3784A



Location: Safford, AZ
Accident Number: GAA20CA039
Date & Time: 10/19/2019, 1730 MST
Registration: N3784A
Aircraft: Zenair CH 701
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, while returning to the departure airport about 1,200 ft above the ground, the airplane's engine developed a severe and instantaneous vibration. He reduced power and searched for an emergency landing spot. The pilot selected a road, but the airplane landed about 40 ft short in soft, rough sand, and the main landing gear separated from the airplane.

The pilot reported that his pilot-rated passenger saw "something black streaking from the right, into the prop" before the vibration started. He suspected it was a drone but was not sure. The pilot added that there was no blood or feathers on the airplane or propeller.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing. Additionally, a portion of one propeller blade was not located at the accident site.

The pilot further reported that, using a handheld GPS, he returned to the area of the presumed inflight propeller strike and found pieces of the propeller. He further reported that there were numerous motorcycle tracks and footprints, but no drone fragments were located.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported as a safety recommendation that he suspected the airplane would have not sustained as much damage if he had landed in "one of the clear areas in the desert." He added that he "overestimated glide performance." 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/13/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/16/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2570 hours (Total, all aircraft), 104 hours (Total, this make and model), 2504 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 61 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenair
Registration: N3784A
Model/Series: CH 701 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 5319
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/17/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 85 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-200
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: KSAD, 3176 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2351 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 34°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 260°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 0°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Safford, AZ (SAD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Safford, AZ (SAD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1645 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 32.693889, -109.690278 (est)



GRAHAM COUNTY - A small airplane made a crash landing in the Artesia area lon October 19th after a bird apparently struck its propeller.

According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, neither of the airplane’s operators, brothers Randy and Ronald White, were injured in the crash.

The plane departed Safford Regional Airport and came to a stop in a sandy wash near Artesia and Stockton Roads. According to the report, Ronald White said they were approaching the area when a black object - apparently a large bird - struck the propeller, causing one side of it to break loose.

Ronald White told a GCSO deputy he had shut down the engine and tried to land the plane on Stockton Road. However, with the weight of the craft and the engine being off, they were unable to glide to the road and landed in the wash.

The airplane’s rear landing gear was sheared off, its fuselage and both wings were damaged, and the propeller was broken. Ronald White said the other side of the propeller broke off during the landing.

A GCSO sergeant contacted the Federal Aviation Administration, which subsequently gave an all clear for the Whites to remove the plane. The brothers dismantled its wings and placed them on a flatbed trailer. With help from an area resident, who had equipment that could pick the plane up and place it on a trailer, the craft was successfully removed.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.eacourier.com

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