This August 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Zodiac 601 XL. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The airplane departed on its maiden flight. Witnesses reported hearing the engine sputtered, then it completely lost power. The airplane entered a tight spiral, coming to stop when it hit the ground and slid into the side of a school building. Fuel was detected at the accident site and there was no post crash fire. Investigators determined that the airplane’s carburetor’s mixture control lever had separated from its mixture shaft, and that the carburetor’s metering valve shaft appeared to have been slightly bent and grooved for some time.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control after the engine experienced a loss of power. Contributing to the accident was the mixture control arm separating from the fuel metering valve shaft.
For more information: NTSB.gov