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N701RD accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 42.773334°N, 123.311111°W
Nearest city Glendale, OR
42.736228°N, 123.423399°W
6.2 miles away
Tail number N701RD
Accident date 17 Jul 2011
Aircraft type Davidson Zenith Stol CH701
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 17, 2011, about 1705 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Davidson Zenith STOL CH701, N701RD, experienced a loss of engine power and impacted terrain near the Nace Family Airstrip (OG41), Glendale, Oregon. The pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that was departing at the time of the accident.

Prior to the accident, the pilot flew the airplane in the pattern. He landed and shut down the airplane. He asked the landing strip owner if he wanted to take a short flight with him, but the owner declined. It was suggested that the pilot take another passenger on a short flight. According to witnesses, they watched the airplane take off and climb to an estimated altitude of 500 feet when the engine sputtered and quit. The witnesses further stated that the airplane made a steep left turn back toward the runway. During the turn, the airplane descended rapidly and impacted terrain about a 1/4 mile from the end of the runway. The witnesses stated that the airplane had partially come out of the turn, but the rate of descent was not arrested.

Witnesses responded to the accident site, and reported hearing the fuel pump working, but did not see or smell any fuel around the accident area.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 66, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. There was no personal flight records located for the pilot. A review of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airmen medical records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, indicated that the pilot did not hold a medical certificate.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The experimental amateur built two-seat, high wing, fixed-gear airplane, N701RD, serial number 7-5721, was manufactured in 2006. It was powered by a Rotax 912 ULS engine, and equipped with a three-bladed Warp Drive model 70R-3BLD fixed-pitch propeller. According to the airplane manufacturer, the airplane met the design definition of a light sport aircraft (LSA) for operation under the FAA's sport pilot/LSA category. No airplane logbooks were made available to the NTSB. The Hobbs hour-meter read 339.9 hours.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

An NTSB investigator and an FAA inspector responded to the accident site. They observed the main fuel valve in the ON position by the pilot's knee. The left wing root fuel valve was in the OFF position. The right wing fuel valve was in a position near the OFF position; the NTSB investigator determined it was approximately 7 degrees from being in the full OFF position. Manual movement of the fuel valve handle indicated that from the full ON to full OFF positions; it is a 90-degree rotation of the handle. The fuel hose was cut below the fuel valve, with a slow dripping of fuel observed passing through the hose. Downstream of the valves the lines were empty. Also empty were the fuel sump tank, the fuel filter, and the carburetor bowls of both carburetors. The fuel pump switch was in the ON position. Both fuel tanks were nearly full with aviation 100-LL fuel.

Flight control continuity was established from each wing root to the flight controls. As a result of damage to the cockpit area, investigators were not able to establish a full continuity check. No other mechanical malfunctions or anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The FAA's Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot, findings for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and volatiles were negative. The toxicology report was positive for the following tested drugs: Amlodipine detected in urine, Amlodipine detected in blood, ibuprofen detected in urine, 0.096 (ug/mL, ug/g) Lorazepam detected in urine, Lorazepam detected in blood, Metoprolol detected in urine, Metoprolol detected in blood.

A postmortem examination was conducted by the Office of the State of Oregon Medical Examiner. The cause of death was reported as blunt force chest trauma.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation and the pilot’s subsequent failure to maintain airplane control during the forced landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to ensure that the fuel valves were in the correct position for flight during the preflight inspection.

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