Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fuel Exhaustion: Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse, N212DX; accident occurred September 20, 2019 near Smith Field Airport (KSMD), Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Plainfield, Indiana

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Accident Number: GAA19CA569
Date & Time: 09/20/2019, 1930 EDT
Registration: N212DX
Aircraft: Diamond DA20
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, while on approach to land, the engine sputtered and had a complete loss of power. He retracted the flaps to extend the glide distance but was unable to make the runway. He then made an off-airport landing, on a service road between two buildings. Upon landing the airplane veered left and impacted a tree.

The pilot further reported that, while conducting the preflight inspection, the fuel was at the bottom of the 1/2 mark on the diamond wood dipstick and the gauge also reflected the fuel level. During the accident flight, he again checked the fuel gauge and noticed it was showing right above 1/4 tank.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, left wing and empennage.

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

The Federal Aviation Administrator inspector who examined the airplane reported that, in total only about 16 ounces of fuel was drained from the airplane fuel system and no fuel leaks were identified. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/26/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/14/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 60 hours (Total, all aircraft), 59 hours (Total, this make and model), 19 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 36 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Diamond
Registration: N212DX
Model/Series: DA20 C1
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: C0275
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1214 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: IO-240 SER
Registered Owner: Sweet Aviation Llc
Rated Power:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGWB, 880 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2335 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 22°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Fort Wayne, IN (SMD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fort Wayne, IN (SMD)
Type of Clearance: VFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1905 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class C 

Airport Information

Airport: Smith Field (SMD)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 835 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3126 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

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: 41.143333, -85.152778 (est)

The pilot of a small passenger plane made an emergency landing between buildings in the 7500 block of Disalle Boulevard off Cook Road on Friday evening, and both the pilot and a passenger escaped without injury.

The pilot had made a couple of flights around the city Friday evening with several different passengers, but during the last flight, the pilot reported hearing mechanical problems and then the engine stalled, Sofia Rosales-Scatena, Fort Wayne Police Department public information officer, said at the scene.

The pilot was on approach to Smith Field Airport when the problem happened.

The plane crashed into a tree next to a building at 7530 Disalle Blvd. at 7:31 p.m., Rosales-Scatena said. “I think he maneuvered quite well around the buildings,” she added.

Officials with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority and Fort Wayne police inspected the plane, which appeared to be nose down with little damage to the cockpit, although one wing appeared to be was missing.

Rosales-Scatena said the Federal Aviation Administration would determine the exact cause of the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Incident??? Looks like an accident to me.

  2. "This evening, one of our aircraft was involved in an incident. However, we’re super grateful that nobody was injured whatsoever."
    By Sweet Aviation on September 20 at 8:29 PM