Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Zenith CH 601XLB Zodiac, N235JH: Accident occurred October 11, 2019 at Gastonia Municipal Airport (KAKH), North Carolina

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

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

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


Location: Gastonia, NC
Accident Number: GAA20CA027
Date & Time: 10/11/2019, 1220 EDT
Registration: N235JH
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot reported that, during takeoff, as the airplane departed the ground, the canopy opened, the airplane landed hard back on the runway, and the nose landing gear collapsed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported that, during a postaccident examination, the canopy latches appeared to be in good condition. He added that the canopy latch handle was located in the middle of the cockpit and operated fine.

The pilot added as a safety recommendation to double check the canopy latch.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 84, Male
Airplane Rating(s): 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: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/14/2018
Flight Time: (Estimated) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ZENITH
Registration: N235JH
Model/Series: ZENITH 601XLB
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: 6-4287
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/30/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 190 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed
Engine Model/Series: O-235-C1
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 108 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: KAKH, 797 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1554 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 223°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
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: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gastonia, NC (AKH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: Gastonia, NC (AKH)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 1220 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 797 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3770 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 35.201944, -81.150278 (est)

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