Monday, December 23, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Cosmos Phase II, N5057Z; Accident occurred December 22, 2019 in Lake Havasu, Mohave County, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona 
Accident Number: WPR20CA056
Date & Time: December 22, 2019, 13:00 Local 
Registration: N5057Z
Aircraft: Cosmos Phase II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while the trike was at cruise flight about 800 ft above ground level, the engine lost power. He attempted to restart the engine to no avail and then initiated a landing in open desert. During the landing roll, the trike impacted a large boulder. Postaccident examination of the trike revealed that it had run out of fuel. The pilot added that the trike was not equipped with a fuel quantity gauge and that the only way to verify the fuel level was to visually look in the fuel tank. Additionally, he thought he had a full tank of fuel before takeoff. The trike sustained substantial damage to the forward upright wing support tubes. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the trike that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, which resulted from the pilot's inadequate preflight fuel inspection.


Aircraft Fuel - Fluid level
Personnel issues Preflight inspection - Pilot
Environmental issues (general) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight Aircraft inspection event
Enroute-cruise Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Landing Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 66, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 1, 2016
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cosmos 
Registration: N5057Z
Model/Series: Phase II 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special) 
Serial Number: B21479
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 503
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 50 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEED,914 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:56 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 326°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No 
Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lake Havasu, AZ
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lake Havasu, AZ 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 09:57 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation:
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used:
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.439998,-114.345558(est)

Mohave County Sheriff's Office

On Sunday, December 22nd at approximately 10 AM, numerous reports came into local 911 centers of an aircraft down into the water of Lake Havasu.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Division of Boating Safety Deputies and Members of the MCSO Dive Rescue and Recovery Team responded by boat to the area with members of the Lake Havasu City Fire Department on board. 

Upon arrival to the area, it was determined that the weight-shift-control trike had crashed on land near Pilot Rock, on the Arizona Side of the Lake.

Deputies and Lake Havasu Fire Personnel hiked up to the crash site, and found the male pilot and a female passenger.

The female was uninjured, and the male only suffered a minor ankle injury.

A helicopter was requested to transport the injured male due to the extreme terrain.

The pilot of the weight-shift-control trike advised that during his flight, his engine shut off, and would not restart. He then attempted to make an emergency landing, but during so, struck several rocks that caused the aircraft to roll onto its side.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating this incident further.

Mohave County Sheriff's Office

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