Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Zenith Zodiac 650B, N452VC: Accident occurred July 12, 2022 in Eufaula, McIntosh County, Oklahoma

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. 

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Sauer, Aaron

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Location: Eufaula, Oklahoma 
Accident Number: CEN22LA315
Date and Time: July 12, 2022, 10:00 Local 
Registration: N452VC
Aircraft: Zenith ZODIAC 650B 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 12, 2022, about 1000 central daylight time, a Zenith 650B airplane, N452VC, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Eufaula, Oklahoma. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The airplane was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilots, who were both owners and builders of the airplane, while maneuvering during a local flight to adjust the airplane’s autopilot, the engine began to run rough. The engine power continued to decrease, and they could not maintain altitude. Unable to make a nearby airport, the pilot elected to perform an off-airport emergency landing. During the landing, the airplane impacted uneven terrain which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing.

Postaccident examination of the Corvair engine revealed the No. 5 cylinder exhaust valve rocker arm attach stud/bolt had failed (see Figure 1.). 

About 10 flight hours before the accident, the owners had replaced the No. 5 cylinder exhaust valve, which included the removal and reinstallation of the rocker arm hardware. The failed hardware was retained for potential further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenith 
Registration: N452VC
Model/Series: ZODIAC 650B 
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: KGZL,601 ft msl 
Observation Time: 10:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C /20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Eufaula, OK 
Destination: Eufaula, OK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 35.282795,-95.589855 (est)

Aircraft crashed in a field. 

Date: 12-JUL-22
Time: 15:00:00Z
Regis#: N452VC
Aircraft Make: ZENITH
Aircraft Model: ZODIAC
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

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