Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Diamond DA-20-C1, N653DC: Accident occurred October 28, 2018 in Mountain Rest, Oconee County, South Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Mountain Rest, SC
Accident Number: ERA19LA029
Date & Time: 10/28/2018
Registration: N653DC
Aircraft: Diamond DA20
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 28, 2018, at 1830 eastern daylight time, a Diamond DA20-C1, N653DC, was substantially damaged during collision with terrain during a forced landing in Mountain Rest, South Carolina. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, the airplane was in cruise flight approximately 6,500 feet msl when it experienced a partial loss of engine power. The engine speed slowed to 1,000 rpm and the pilot adjusted the flight controls to achieve the airplane's best glide performance.

The pilot stated that he selected a field for the forced landing because no airport was within gliding distance. During the descent, the pilot's remedial actions to restore engine power were unsuccessful, so he declared an emergency over the radio and secured the engine prior to the off-airport landing. After the landing, the occupants egressed the airplane uninjured and without assistance.

The pilot held a commercial pilot and flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first class medical certificate was issued February 1, 2018, and he reported 1,477 total hours of flight experience.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2001. Its most recent 100-hour inspection was completed October 24, 2018 at 7,730 total aircraft hours.

At 1835, the weather recorded at Toccoa Letourneau Airport (TOC), 18 miles southwest of the site, included clear skies and winds from 240° at 6 knots. The temperature was 19°C, and the dew point was 10°C. The altimeter setting was 29.94 inches of mercury.

Examination of photographs revealed that the wings, fuselage, and empennage all sustained substantial impact damage. The tail was fractured but remained attached by cables. The horizontal stabilizer and the elevator were separated from the tail section.

An FAA aviation safety inspector confirmed flight continuity from the cockpit, through breaks and fractures, to all flight control surfaces. All breaks and fractures exhibited signatures consistent with overload failure. Several gallons of fuel were drained from the airplane, and samples from the fuel were absent of water and debris.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Diamond
Registration: N653DC
Model/Series: DA20 C1
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Falcon Aviation Academy Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTOC, 995 ft msl
Observation Time: 1835 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Sylva, NC (24A)
Destination: Athens, GA (AHN) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.865000, -83.157222 (est)

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