Thursday, July 22, 2021

Zenith STOL CH750, N750RS: Accident occurred July 21, 2021 and Incident occurred August 26, 2020

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina
Location: Rockwell, NC
Accident Number: ERA21LA298
Date & Time: July 21, 2021, 16:44 Local 
Registration: N750RS
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 21, 2021, at 1644 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built STOL CH 750, N750RS, was involved in an accident in Rockwell, North Carolina. The private pilot was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, the airplane was a recent purchase and he had spent “months” preparing it for flight. He reported that he hadn’t flown in the 90 days prior to the accident flight and that after takeoff he was “just getting the feel of it [and] would vary the rpm up and down some to check rpm and airspeed.”

About 30 minutes into the flight the engine “burped” and then progressively lost power as it ran more roughly, and the airplane descended. The pilot switched fuel tanks but described no other remedial actions before the engine lost all power. The pilot also reported that he did not apply carburetor heat during the accident flight. The pilot selected an open field adjacent to roadway for the forced landing. According to the pilot the airplane was in the landing flare, about 5 ft. above the ground, when the “airplane stalled and dropped out from under me.” The airplane eventually nosed over and came to rest inverted.

The pilot reported that he had 706 total hours of flight experience, of which 7.1 were in the accident airplane make and model.

When asked by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that he completed the airplane’s most recent condition inspection in July of 2021 but did not document it. The most recent documented condition inspection was performed July 18, 2020. The total aircraft hours could not be reconciled from the maintenance entries, the Hobbs meter, and the “inoperative” tachometer.

Examination of photographs revealed damage to the wings and fuselage and substantial damage to the rudder/vertical stabilizer. One of 3 propeller blades was fractured at its root. 

The responding police officer released the airplane to the owner, who removed the wings, drained the fuel from the wings, and hired a local wrecking service to recover the airplane from the scene.

An aircraft recovery service then recovered the airplane to their facility. Once there, recovery personnel drained about one-half pint of automotive gasoline from the gascolator. They replaced the propeller, cleared the intake of sod from the accident site, plumbed a fuel can of aviation gasoline into the fuel supply line at the left-wing root, and attempted an engine start.

The engine started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran continuously without interruption through several power changes. Both a magneto and carburetor heat check were performed satisfactorily.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N750RS
Model/Series: STOL CH 750 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRUQ,773 ft msl 
Observation Time: 15:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C /18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.564167,-80.424167

July 21, 2021 

ROCKWELL, North Carolina  — A small plane crashed into a grassy open field along Red Road between Rockwell and Granite Quarry on Wednesday afternoon.

The lone pilot flying the plane did not sustain serious injuries, only a scrape to his leg. According to authorities, the pilot exited the aircraft on his own before emergency responders arrived at the scene a little after 4 p.m. The incident was responded to by Rockwell Fire Department, Rowan County EMS, Granite Quarry Fire Department and other emergency personnel.

The pilot reported having engine troubles while flying his experimental plane in Rowan County. He told authorities at the scene that he’d taken off earlier in the afternoon from a small private grass strip near Concord.

The plane itself landed upside down and was relatively intact, minus a visibly broken propeller on the front and damage to the tail.

The scene was temporarily under the jurisdiction of the N.C. Highway Patrol. Trooper Shane Herrin said the National Transportation Safety Board would not be notified of the accident because there were no injuries, and that the owner of the plane would be responsible for removing it from the field.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s online plane registry, the aircraft is registered to Michael K. Melvin of Concord and is a fixed-wing single engine airplane. 

August 26, 2020

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

August 26, 2020:  Aircraft engine stalled on final and crashed in the grass near the left side runway edge at Hendersonville Airport (0A7), Barker Heights, North Carolina.

Date: 26-AUG-20
Time: 14:30:00Z
Regis#: N750RS
Aircraft Make: ZENITH
Aircraft Model: STOL CH750
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91

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