Monday, January 19, 2015

Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse, New Horizons Aviation Inc., N979DC; accident occurred January 19, 2015 in Shipshewana, Newbury Township, LaGrange County, Indiana

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration; South Bend, Indiana
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA106
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 19, 2015 in Shipshewana, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/17/2015
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 20 C1, registration: N979DC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot reported that he was practicing solo ground reference maneuvers about 1,600 ft above ground level when the engine began operating erratically. He further stated that the airplane might have entered an aerodynamic stall. He advanced the throttle to full forward, but the engine did not respond and subsequently experienced a total loss of power. He attempted to restart the engine by completing the emergency procedures that he remembered. The engine “turned over” but did not restart. He then prepared for a forced landing to a nearby field. During the base-to-final turn, he lost control of the airplane, and it descended to the ground. The airplane impacted the field and continued into a propane tank and then a house where it came to rest. 
A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that most of the induction air filter was obstructed by ice; no other anomalies were noted. The engine was test run with and without the ice in the air filter, and the engine produced full power under both conditions. The alternate air lever, which selects a second induction air intake in case the primary air intake (air filter) becomes restricted, was found in the “off” position. The aircraft flight manual states that, in the event of an in-flight engine failure, the alternate air control should be opened (or “on”). A Federal Aviation Administration advisory circular warns pilots of induction system icing known as “impact ice,” which can build up on components like the air filter when moisture-laden air is near freezing. Based on the near-freezing outside air temperature and clouds in the area in which the flight was operating and the lack of any apparent engine malfunctions, it is likely that the primary air induction system became obstructed with impact ice during the flight. 

When asked about the airplane’s alternate air lever, the student pilot indicated that he was unfamiliar with the lever and did not know its intended use. If the student pilot had opened the alternate air control during the initial power loss, it is likely that engine power would have been restored. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power due to impact ice obstructing the primary air induction system, which resulted from the student pilot’s failure to operate the alternate air control. Contributing to the accident was the student pilot’s lack of knowledge about using the alternate air control during an engine power loss. 

On January 19, 2015, about 1700 eastern standard time, a Diamond Aircraft Inc. DA 20 C1 airplane, N979DC, made a forced landing into a field near Shipshewana, Indiana. The solo student pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by New Horizons Aviation Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a solo instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed from the Goshen Municipal Airport (GSH), Goshen, Indiana about 1645. 

According to the student pilot, he was about 1,600 feet above ground level practicing ground reference maneuvers. He reported that the engine operation became erratic and the airplane might have entered an aerodynamic stall. He advanced the throttle to full forward, but the engine did not respond and experienced a total loss of power. He attempted to restart the engine by completing the emergency procedures that he remembered. The engine "turned over" but did not restart. He then prepared for a forced landing into a nearby field. During the base to final turn, he lost control of the airplane and descended to the ground. The airplane impacted the field and continued into a propane tank and then a house where it came to rest. 

The student pilot reported having accumulated 12 total flight hours, all of which were logged in the preceding 30 days, and in the same make and model airplane. 

The airplane was a two seat, low wing, tricycle landing gear, training airplane which was manufactured in 2005. It was powered by a 125-horsepower Continental Motors Inc. IO-240 engine, which drove a Sensenich two-bladed, fixed pitched, wooden propeller. 

On January 22, 2015, the airplane was examined after the accident by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector and a representative from Continental Motors Inc. The examination revealed that the majority of the induction air filter was covered with ice. The alternate air lever in the airplane was OFF. The engine cylinders each displayed normal operating signatures. The spark plugs displayed normal wear signatures when compared to a Champion Aviation Service Manual No. AV6-R. Internal crankshaft continuity was established by rotating the propeller. Additionally, all four cylinders displayed thumb suction and compression. The top spark plugs and ignition leads were reinstalled for an engine operational test run. The air filter remained impacted with ice during the first engine run; the engine was capable of running with the throttle full forward and produced about 2,200 RPM which is normal for a fixed pitch propeller. The alternate air lever was moved to ON and the engine was still capable of producing about 2,200 RPM. The engine was then shut down and the ice removed from the air filter. The engine was subjected to a second test run; the engine produced 2,200 RPM with the throttle advanced to full forward. The ignition switch was actuated to test both magnetos and the decreases in RPM were normal and the engine indications displayed normal operating parameters. Other than the ice in the air induction filter there were no anomalies noted that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and empennage. 

During the postaccident investigation, the pilot was asked about the airplane's alternate air lever. He reported that he was unfamiliar with the lever and did not know its intended use. He also stated that he flew through some low clouds during the flight, but they did not obstruct his view of the ground and he was able to maintain visual flight rules (VFR) the entire time.

At 1653 the weather observation station at GSH, which was located 13 miles southwest, reported the following conditions: wind from 200 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 12,000 feet, temperature 36° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 30° F, altimeter setting 29.94 inches of mercury.

Using the average temperature lapse rate, 3.5° F per 1,000 feet, the temperature at 1,600 feet would have been about 30° F. 

The Diamond Aircraft Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) stated in Chapter 7.9.2 Engine Controls: The alternate air control selects a second induction air intake in case of restriction of the primary air intake (air filter). 

AFM Chapter 3.3.1 (c) Engine Failure during Flight – ENGINE RUNNING ROUGHLY – the pilot should perform the following checklist:

1. Mixture – FULL RICH

2. Alternate Air – OPEN

3. Fuel Shut-off – OPEN

4. Fuel Pump – ON

5. Ignition Switch – cycle L – BOTH – R – BOTH

6. Throttle – at present position

7. No Improvement – reduce throttle to minimum required power, land as soon as possible. 

FAA Advisory Circular 20-113. The Advisory Circular states that one form of induction system icing is impact ice and states in part:

"Impact ice is formed by moisture-laden air at temperatures below freezing, striking and freezing on elements of the induction system which are at temperatures of 32° F or below. Under these conditions, ice may build up on such components as the air scoops, heat or alternate air valves, intake screens, and protrusions in the carburetor. Pilots should be particularly alert for such icing when flying in snow, sleet, rain, or clouds, especially when they see ice forming on the windshield or leading edge of the wings. The ambient temperature at which impact ice can be expected to build most rapidly is about 25° F, when the super cooled moisture in the air is still in a semi liquid state. This type of icing affects an engine with fuel injection, as well as carbureted engines. It is usually preferable to use carburetor heat or alternate air as an ice prevention means..." 

SHIPSHEWANA - A crash landing -- and one lucky teenager. 

An 18-year-old pilot in training walked away after he crashed a small plane about half a mile from his house in Shipshewana Monday night.

“I'm still shaking from it,” says Jordan Stoltzfus. “I flew up to Elkhart, did a couple takeoff and landings.”

Then the 18-year-old decided to fly over his house, north of Shipshewana.

“I was doing a [maneuver] around my house, and I was on my second turnaround and the engine started struggling a little bit and it completely gave out.”

He says he did everything he’s been trained to do, but the engine wouldn’t start.

“I started freaking out then a little bit,” says Jordan. “I started losing altitude and speed and I started falling. And I lost control and brought it down in the yard and hit the propane tank.”

Jordan’s dad had just pulled up their driveway across the road.

“I stepped out and I seen the strobe light on the tail,” described Rich Stoltzfus. “I wasn't sure if he was flying today or not and I asked my wife if Jordan is flying and she said 'I think he is' and I said 'I think he crashed into the house across the street from us.'”

Rich called 911 and sped down the driveway and across the road to find propane quickly spreading and his son out of the plane and safe.

“I was -- I'm speechless yet. God has a plan for him,” Rich said.

Jordan says he has about 10 hours of flight time so far and twp hours solo.

Even though he's pretty shaken up, he knows he's lucky.

And he says he will fly again.

Jordan is a senior at Westview High School in LaGrange County.

He plans to study aviation at a college in Kansas in the fall.

No one was in that home the plane hit. A neighbor says a family of three just moved out a week ago.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. 

Story and video:

LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A Westview High School student walked away unharmed after a small plane he was piloting crashed around 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

The two-seat plane went down in the area of 9595 W. 450 N. near the student’s home in Shipshewana.

Jordan Stoltzfus, who is a senior at Westview, told NewsChannel 15 he had taken off from the Goshen airport at around 4 p.m. and flew to Elkhart, where he performed a couple of landings and takeoffs.

He was flying over his home at about 2,500 feet when he said he noticed the plane’s engine was having problems and that the aircraft was losing altitude and airspeed. The engine eventually began idling and Stoltzfus crash-landed the plane in a field, where he said it slid into a propane tank.

After the impact, liquid began coming out of the tank, so Stoltzfus shut off the engine and exited the aircraft immediately.

Despite the crash-landing, Stoltzfus was not hurt.

Stoltzfus said his father and a neighbor were the first people on the scene.

An 18-year-old pilot was shaken up but uninjured after the small plane he was in crashed into a propane tank northwest of Shipshewana Monday evening. 

Emergency crews were called to 9595 W. 450 N. at about 5 p.m. for the crash, according to a news release from the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department.

Jordan Stoltzfus was flying the Diamond Eclipse plane from the Goshen Airport when it lost power, his father, Rich Stoltzfus, told Elkhart Truth photographers at the scene.

Jordan Stoltzfus tried to restart the engine, but it wouldn’t work, so he attempted to glide into a field off of 450 N., Rich Stoltzfus said. The plane continued gliding and hit a propane tank before hitting the west side of a nearby building. The plane did not go inside the building.

Nobody was inside the building at the time of the crash.

Propane leaked out of the tank and emergency officials blocked off the scene of the crash until it stopped. The leak stopped before the propane company arrived on scene, Rich Stoltzfus said.

An Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector called to the scene didn’t identify himself and said that he was unable to speak to the media because of FAA policy.

Calls to the FAA were not returned Monday night.

The plane was manufactured in 2005 and is owned by New Horizons Aviation Inc., a company based out of the Goshen Airport that provides “professional flight training and aircraft rental,” according to its website.

Jordan Stoltzfus is a student at New Horizons and was practicing flying for his class when the engine failed, Rich Stoltzfus said.

Original article can be found at:

Update 6:45 1/19/2015 -- No injuries reported in the LaGrange County plane crash. The pilot survived the crash and was not transported from the scene. 

The home that the plane crashed into only sustained exterior damage to the siding. The interior of the home remains untouched.

The FAA is currently in route to the scene.

Update 5:40 1/19/2015 -- LaGrange County Dispatchers tell FOX28, the crash at W 450 N. appears to involve a single engine plane.

The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department says emergency crews are responding to a plane crash.  

The following is the limited information we have at this point which was released by the LaGrange County Sheriff:

Plane crashed in the area of 9595 W 450 N. Avoid the area. Emergency crews are on scene.

A small plane has crashed northwest of Shipshewana.

The initial report came into our newsroom from a viewer. An emergency dispatch representative confirmed it.

A LaGrange County Sheriff's release says the crash happened in the area of 9595 W 450 N.

Emergency crews are on the scene, and police are asking people to avoid the area.

 Plane Crash in the area of 9595 W 450 N. Avoid the area.

 Emergency crews are on scene. 

 LaGrange County Sheriff 

 Article and comments:

SHIPSHEWANA -- LaGrange County Sheriff's Department officials said there are no injuries in a plane crash at 9595 W. 450 North, northwest of Shipshewana.

Emergency crews are at the scene. 

Sheriff's officials said the plane that crashed was a small plane.

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