Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hard Landing: Zenith STOL CH-801, N801PZ; accident occurred October 18, 2019 at Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Knox County, Tennessee

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Knoxville, TN
Accident Number: GAA20CA043
Date & Time: 10/18/2019, 1300 EDT
Registration: N801PZ
Aircraft: Zenair ZENITH 801
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, during a power-off 180° approach, he noticed he was "drifting" and would not make the intended touchdown point. He added power to correct, and then reduced the power to idle to resume the approach. On short final, the airplane encountered a "wind shift or gust" and developed a high sink rate. He applied power and lowered the nose, but the airplane landed hard.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

The airport's automated weather observation station reported that, about 5 minutes before the accident, the wind was variable at 3 knots. The pilot landed the airplane on runway 08.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 47, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/23/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/30/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 350 hours (Total, all aircraft), 199 hours (Total, this make and model), 306 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenair
Registration: N801PZ
Model/Series: ZENITH 801 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 8-4758
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/16/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 180 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Aerosport Power
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-375-B2BEMS
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 195 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: KDKX, 833 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1655 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 66°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point:  Knoxville, TN (TN98)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Knoxville, TN (DKX)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1230 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 833 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3499 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Simulated Forced Landing

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: 35.963056, -83.876667 (est)

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