Accident Zenith CH 601XLB Zodiac N601YP,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 314751
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Date:Saturday 3 June 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic CH60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Zenith CH 601XLB Zodiac
Registration: N601YP
MSN: 6-6098
Year of manufacture:2023
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Albertville, AL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Albertville Regional Airport, AL (8A0)
Destination airport:Albertville Regional Airport, AL (8A0)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On June 3, 2023, at 1320 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Zenith 601XL, N601YP, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Albertville, Alabama. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight.

Preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the flight departed Albertville Regional Airport-Thomas J Brumlik Field (8A0), Albertville, Alabama at 1220. The airplane departed the airport traffic pattern to the southwest and flew for about 1 hour, performing several heading changes, and a climb to 4,000 ft mean sea level (msl) before descending to 2,000 ft msl, then leveling-off shortly before contact was lost. According to witnesses, the pilot had just completed the airplane build and was operating the airplane as a test flight.

Several witnesses near the accident site reported that the airplane appeared to “porpoise” several times. The engine then increased to full power and the airplane nosed over into a vertical descent before disappearing behind a tree line.

The airplane impacted trees and terrain and came to rest inverted on the side of a stream bed about 2 miles northwest of 8A0 at an elevation of 1,007 ft. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site.

The wreckage path was oriented on a heading of 057° magnetic and was about 40 ft long. The fuselage, empennage, wings, and all flight controls were discovered in the immediate vicinity of the primary impact site. The engine was separated and located about 25 ft forward. Shattered tree branches, several of which exhibited features consistent with propeller slice marks were located around the impact site. Both wings were displaced aft but remained attached to the wing spar; the two internal fuel tanks were severed from their internal mounts and were located in the debris field; the fuel tanks were compromised and there was the smell of automotive gasoline in the area along with vegetative blight on the grass and surrounding leaves and bushes.

Examination of the airframe revealed that the elevator trim and its respective servo were in the full-up position (nose down trim). The flaps were retracted (up), the vertical stabilizer which also operates as a rudder fractured from its connection points but remained in the vicinity of the main wreckage. All other flight controls remained partially attached to their respective mounts. Control continuity was established by tracing the control cables to their respective positions and manually noting corresponding movement of the control surface.

Examination of the engine revealed that the propeller hub remained attach to the flange. Two propeller blades were fractured and severed about 3 inches outward from the hub and one blade was fractured about 9 inches outward from the hub. Several pieces of delaminated propeller blades were distributed throughout the accident site in multiple directions along the wreckage path. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed and there was smooth action of all rockers, valves, and springs when the crankshaft was rotated 720°. Compression and suction were attained on all cylinders and the spark plugs exhibited normal wear.

A cockpit multi-function display was recovered from the accident site and sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, for data download.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.


NTSB (photo)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA23FA254
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report


Revision history:

04-Jun-2023 00:08 Geno Added
04-Jun-2023 04:12 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative, Category]
04-Jun-2023 04:34 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Jun-2023 04:58 RobertMB Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Jun-2023 14:27 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Jun-2023 16:34 RobertMB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Jun-2023 21:49 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
05-Jun-2023 00:17 RobertMB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
05-Jun-2023 05:29 RobertMB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
05-Jun-2023 08:43 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
05-Jun-2023 11:33 RobertMB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
29-Jun-2023 01:28 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
29-Jun-2023 05:32 Dan Gryder Updated [Nature, Narrative]
02-Jul-2023 21:19 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]

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