Saturday, July 08, 2017

Diamond DA-20C-1 Eclipse, N781MA, Rame Inc: Accident occurred October 30, 2016 at Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF), Fairfax County, Virginia

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Herndon, Virginia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Rame Inc:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA055
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 30, 2016 in Bristow, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/05/2017
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 20, registration: N781MA
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, after multiple previous landings that night to runway 34L, the airplane was thrown “off course” after it encountered a crosswind. The pilot pulled the power off briefly during the landing, and the airplane touched down. However, he reported that he made a late decision to go around and reapplied the power to establish a climb. He added that the airplane was “off course” at a low airspeed and that he applied full power, but he panicked and reduced his right rudder application, and the airplane veered to the left. The airplane stalled and impacted the ground, the nose landing gear became embedded in the mud, and the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing root and empennage.

According to the airport security camera video, the airplane descended over runway 34L and made an immediate sharp left 270° turn to the left of the runway heading and rapidly ascended. After the sharp left turn, the airplane was airborne for about 534 ft before impacting the ground and nosing over. 

White paint transfer markings observed on the runway surface and damage to the airplane’s left wing indicated that the airplane had impacted the runway surface during the accident sequence. 

About 25 minutes before the accident, the published METAR for the accident airport reported that the wind was from 320° at 6 knots. There were no reported wind gusts at the time of the accident, and there were no published wind gusts at the airport for the remainder of the day.

The pilot reported that he had 99 hours of total flight time, 78 hours of which were in the accident airplane make and model, and 4 hours of which were within the 90 days before the accident. 

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot’s loss of directional control during a landing attempt at night, which resulted in a delayed go-around procedure and subsequent impact with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of recent flight experience.

AIRCRAFT:   2004 Diamond DA 20-C1 Eclipse, N781MA, Serial No. C0281

ENGINE – Continental IO-240B, Serial No. 650040

PROPELLER – destroyed

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE:   2380TT 519.7 SMOH


AIRFRAME:    2380           

OTHER EQUIPMENT:    GNS430, GMA340, KCA2500, GTX330 
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Pilot lost control on landing and flipped the aircraft.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Severe Damage to the fuselage, propeller, engine mount, gear, firewall. The tail boom is fractured, and severe damage to the wings. 

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