The pilot reported that the flight was the first flight of the experimental amateur-built Zenith CH750. He was landing at the airport in Xenia, Ohio, when the accident occurred.
He noted that he was lined up with the runway center line, that his airspeed was 60 mph, and the tachometer registered 1,600 rpm, when he felt the right tire touch the runway.
“In an instant the left wing came down and the left tire and axle [were] sheared off. The left wing contacted the runway and the plane skidded about 40 feet and came to a full stop.”
The pilot said he used a higher landing airspeed since he had been told by other builders of that airplane that he needed to land with speed “so as not get near the stall speed as this aircraft does have leading edge slats and this equates to a high lift wing.”
The pilot stated that the wind was calm, the altimeter setting was 30.12 inches, and the temperature was 55°F. The wind recorded at an airport 8 miles north was from 200° at 12 knots.
Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the left wing tip was bent up, the nose landing gear “U” channel was bent 90°, and the skin around the left wing strut and landing gear attachment points were buckled.
There were no reported preimpact anomalies with the airplane.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during landing, which resulted in the right tire contacting the runway first followed by the left wing.
This December 2019 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.