Saturday, January 01, 2022

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Zenith CH-750 STOL, N902KL; accident occurred June 05, 2021 in Montrose, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Accident Number: CEN21LA251
Date and Time: June 5, 2021, 16:00 Local 
Registration: N902KL
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total) 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he was enroute to his home airport when the airplane’s engine lost all power. He set up for a forced landing to a plowed field and attempted to restart the engine. The engine restarted momentarily, but then lost power again. During the forced landing, the airplane’s main landing gear impacted an irrigation ditch and the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing, fuselage, vertical stabilizer and rudder. A mechanic who examined the airplane and engine after the accident confirmed continuity of the engine’s rotating components, fuel distribution throughout the engine, integrity of the ignition system, and found no evidence of any preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane’s engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported that before the flight, the airplane was parked on the airport ramp and the outside air temperature was near 100oF. About noon, when he went to start the airplane, the engine would not start. The pilot hangered the airplane so the engine could cool down and about an hour and a half later, the pilot started the airplane and took off. The pilot reported that he was about halfway home when the power loss occurred. The pilot also reported that the airplane had a history of vapor lock occurrences in hot weather conditions and that he thought the engine’s power loss was due to vapor lock. The loss of engine power was consistent with a
fuel vapor lock occurrence.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The loss of engine power due to fuel vapor lock.


Environmental issues High temperature - Effect on equipment
Aircraft Fuel distribution - Capability exceeded
Environmental issues Hidden/submerged object - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise Fuel related
Enroute-cruise Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Landing Off-field or emergency landing
Landing-landing roll Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: October 23, 2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 200 hours (Total, this make and model), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: KEVIN LIPPERT 
Registration: N902KL
Model/Series: ZENITH CH 750 NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental light sport (Special)
Serial Number: 75-10161
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 1, 2021 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1
Airframe Total Time: 280 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner:
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMTJ, 5720 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 327°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 350°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Delta, CO (AJZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Montrose, CO (None)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 14:30 Local
Type of Airspace: Class E

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.4783,-107.8762 (est)

1 comment:

  1. Environmental issues High temperature - Effect on equipment
    Vapor locked engines, the future of GA in extreme climatic conditions !!