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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 178079
Last updated: 24 August 2019
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Date:25-JUL-2015
Time:11:17
Type:Silhouette image of generic CH60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Zenith CH601XL
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N9601
C/n / msn: 0002
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Kenosha County north of Bristol, WI -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Valparaiso, IN (VPZ)
Destination airport:Oshkosh, WI
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The pilot was flying his experimental, amateur-built airplane on a cross-country flight. GPS and radar data showed that, about an hour into the flight, the airplane turned left and then turned right. About 1 minute later, the airplane's groundspeed slowed to below its stall speed, and the airplane then entered a steep descent. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane “corkscrew” downward, and one witness reported that the propeller was “not spinning.” Flight control continuity was confirmed, and witness marks on the propeller blades were consistent with the propeller not rotating at impact.
A pilot who shared a hangar with the accident pilot reported that the accident pilot replaced the airplane’s ignition system coils the day before the flight. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the coils were not engine-manufacturer replacement parts. During a postaccident test run, the engine would not start. During subsequent troubleshooting, the right distributor center coil tower socket was found separated; further examination revealed that it failed due to overload. The right ignition coil was then connected to the left distributor cap, and the engine operated normally during the subsequent test run. The broken right distributor cap was then replaced with a new cap, the right ignition coil was connected to the new cap, and the engine again operated normally during a subsequent test run. The left ignition coil did not produce any sparks during the test runs. No other anomalies were observed during the engine runs that would have prevented normal operation. The airplane likely experienced a loss of engine power due to the ignition issues, and the pilot failed to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in a subsequent stall and loss of airplane control.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed and airplane control following a loss of engine power during cruise flight. Contributing to the accident was the installation of ignition system coils that were not engine-manufacturer replacement parts, which subsequently failed and resulted in the loss of engine power.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20150726X63030&key=1
FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=9601


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Jul-2015 03:16 Geno Added
27-Jul-2015 18:56 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Source]
02-Aug-2015 20:05 harro Updated [Embed code]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 15:04 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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