Thursday, November 11, 2021

Zenith Zodiac CH-601, N22XF: Fatal accident occurred November 10, 2021 near Blue Ridge Flightpark Airport (34FD), Oakhill, Volusia County, Florida

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Location: Oak Hill, Florida
Accident Number: ERA22FA056
Date and Time: November 10, 2021, 10:03 Local 
Registration: N22XF
Aircraft: Zenith CH601
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 10, 2021, about 1003 eastern standard time, an experimental, amateur-built Zodiac Zenith CH601, N22XF, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Oak Hill, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

There were no known witnesses to the accident and the pilot, who was also the owner and builder of the airplane, was not in contact with air traffic control.

Preliminary review of radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed a target departing Massey Ranch Airpark (X50), New Smyrna Beach, Florida, at 1000. The target traveled south for about 3 minutes before turned left to the east and stopped transmitting at 1003. At that time, the target was traveling on a heading of 070° at a ground speed of 98 knots. The airplane wreckage was located within the vicinity of the last radar return.

The airplane came to rest in heavily wooded terrain on private property. On-scene examination revealed that the airplane impacted trees then the ground in a steep nose-down attitude. There was no post-impact fire and a strong odor of fuel. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site. The engine was buried about 2 ft into the ground and the empennage was folded forward over the cockpit area. The two-blade wood propeller was shattered but located in the impact crater with the engine. The left wing was separated about 3 ft from the wing root but remained connected by the aileron control cables. Both wings sustained extensive leading edge impact damage. Flight control continuity was established for all major flight components from the respective flight control surface to the cockpit. The horizontal stabilator separated from the empennage and was lying to the left of the main wreckage. The all-flying rudder had also separated and was lying behind the main wreckage.

The wreckage was recovered for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenith
Registration: N22XF
Model/Series: CH601 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: KEVB,10 ft msl 
Observation Time: 09:47 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C /8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 360°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: New Smyrna, FL (X50)
Destination: Oak Hill, FL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 28.866945,-80.913736 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

OAK HILL, Florida - One person is dead after a single-engine Zenith Zodiac aircraft crashed Wednesday morning, but investigators say the plane wasn’t found until Wednesday evening. 

The initial call reporting a possible plane crash came in just before noon saying an according to the Volusia County Sheriffs Office. 

Flight Services, a company that contracts with the Federal Aviation Administration, told dispatch the aircraft's beacon was sounding in the area north of Blue Ridge Flightpark Airport. 

Responding deputies with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office didn’t find a downed plane. Investigators searched the area and talked to residents in the small private airport community and said all of the aircraft stationed in the area were accounted for.  Early Wednesday afternoon investigators told FOX 35 News that it could have been a false alarm.

The Sheriff's Office says dispatch received another call from Flight Services later in the afternoon, around 4:17 p.m., notifying them that the emergency beacon was activated from the aircraft that was reported earlier that morning.  Flight Services asked the dispatcher to have a well-being check done on the person to whom the beacon was registered.  Deputies say no one answered the door and the owner’s hangar was empty.            

Investigators say the aircraft was found in a heavily wooded area in Oak Hill, not too far from where it was initially reported to have crashed.  A Sheriff's Office helicopter, Edgewater police officers, and members of the Civil Air Patrol all helped in the search.   

Local pilots question why it took eight hours to find the aircraft since it had a beacon in it. 

"Speculating, I wonder if maybe people thought it was a nuisance or false alert," said Shem Malmquist, a visiting professor at Florida Institute of Technology.  

He is also an aviation crash investigator, but he is not investigating this crash.  Malmquist explained regular emergency responders would not be equipped with radios that would pick up emergency beacon signals from aircraft.   

"The ground vehicles and police and fire rescue on a different frequency for sure," he explained. 

But Malmquist says that all aircraft passing nearby overhead would have picked up the downed plane’s emergency beacon signal on their radios.   

"Sheriffs helicopters should be monitoring that frequency. I can’t imagine it’s not part of the standard operating procedure. If they’re flying overhead they should be able to pick it up," Malmquist said.  

It’s unclear what time investigators started searching from the air.

Deputies have a dirt road that leads back to the crash scene blocked off.  The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.  The pilot’s identity is not being released yet.  

The Sheriff's Office says the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida —  A man is dead after his experimental plane went down in a wooded area of Oak Hill in Volusia County on Wednesday, according to officials.

Officials say they received reports just before noon Wednesday of a possible small plane down north of Blue Ridge Flightpark Airport.

Deputies and other responders searched the area around Blue Ridge Flightpark Airport in Oak Hill. After speaking with those who were there, investigators didn't find anything related to the incident.

There were no reports of any missing planes either. Just before 4:30 p.m., the sheriff's office dispatch center got a call from the Airforce Rescue Coordination Center saying there had been an emergency beacon activation from an aircraft earlier in the day.

Authorities say they did a well-being check on the owner of the plane, but got no answer, noting the plane was not in the hangar.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s Air One helicopter, Edgewater police and members of the Civil Air Patrol, continued their search until they spotted the wreckage near the Oak Hill area around 7:11 p.m.

Investigators believe the plane went down sometime during the day. Chopper 2 was able to see it under a thick canopy northeast of 1340 Maytown Rd. with the only soul aboard dead at the scene.

According to locals, the downed plane is typically parked at Massey Ranch Airpark in Edgewater where crews found the hangar there empty and the registered owner of the plane not at his home. With additional resources from the air and on the ground, law enforcement discovered the wreckage and the victim.

Law enforcement has been in touch with the apparent victim's family and believes they have identified him but have not yet released his name.

The identity of the person who was killed has not been released.

1 comment:

  1. Xflight technologies founder too, the zodiac was only just certified back in june