Fuel Pressure And RPMs Fluctuated Between Normal And Zero

Location: Montrose, CO Accident Number: CEN22LA093
Date & Time: January 2, 2022, 10:40 Local Registration: N750DP
Aircraft: Zenith CH750 Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On January 02, 2022, about 1040 mountain standard time, a Zenith CH750, N750DP, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Montrose, Colorado. The pilot was uninjured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that before taking off for the flight, he added 24 gallons of 92 octane, ethanol free automotive gas to the fuel tanks. After waiting for the fuel to settle, he sumped the fuel tanks and observed no contamination or water. About 30 minutes after departure and while in cruise flight, at an altitude of about 10,500 ft mean sea level, he observed the fuel pressure decrease from 44 pounds per square inch (psi) to 39 psi. It increased to 40 psi, before decreasing to zero at the same time the engine RPMs decreased to zero. For the next 3 to 5 minutes, the fuel pressure and RPMs fluctuated between normal and zero. He activated the backup fuel pump with no effect noted.

The pilot executed a forced landing on top of a snow-covered plateau about 20 miles south of Montrose. During the landing, the wheels dug into the snow, and the airplane nosed over which resulted in substantial damage to both wings.

The airplane was equipped with a Viking/Honda 110 engine. A detailed examination is pending.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov