Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Diamond DA40, N388JP; accident occurred July 13, 2019 at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC), Denver, Colorado

View of white runway scrape marking.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Denver, CO

Accident Number: GAA19CA409
Date & Time: 07/13/2019, 1450 MDT
Registration: N388JP
Aircraft: Diamond DA40
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

View of damaged right aileron.


The pilot receiving instruction reported that, during landing in windy conditions, the airplane drifted left of the runway centerline. He added that he applied right rudder and aileron to correct, but when he realized the airplane "was going to drift to left of [the] runway," he initiated a go-around. The flight instructor reported that the airplane subsequently touched down "momentarily" and that he heard a "thump." The pilot then added power and made "several corrections" to maintain the runway heading and then established a climb. The instructor reported to the tower controller that the airplane may have struck a runway edge light. The pilot landed the airplane and taxied to the ramp without further incident.

During postaccident examination, white paint transfer marks were observed on the runway leading to a runway light. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both the left and right ailerons. The pilot added that airport personnel informed him that a runway light was damaged and would require replacement.

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

The flight instructor reported that the wind was from 350° at 12 knots, gusting to 19 knots. The airport's automated weather observation station reported that, about 3 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 340° at 13 knots. The pilot landed the airplane on runway 30. 

View of damaged left aileron.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot receiving instruction failure to maintain the runway heading and bank control during landing in crosswind conditions, which resulted in a go-around and subsequent collision with a runway light.


Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Heading/course - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation
Runway/taxi/approach light - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR go-around
Other weather encounter
Attempted remediation/recovery
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/03/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/13/2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 137 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7 hours (Total, this make and model), 53 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/02/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/28/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 23885 hours (Total, all aircraft), 54.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 16137 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 55.1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9.2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Diamond
Registration: N388JP
Model/Series: DA40 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 40.388
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/10/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1362 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-M1A
Registered Owner: Sml Aviation Llc
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Western Air Flight Academy
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBJC, 5595 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2047 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 203°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 8000 ft agl
Visibility:   25 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 22000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 340°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Longmont, CO (LMO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Denver, CO (BJC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1415 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5673 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 30L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7002 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.905000, -105.114167 (est)


  1. What? I'm used to seeing at least some responsibility pinned on the instructor for not taking control when things start going south.

  2. Instructor reported he thought they hit something, what else do you want? Actually you are very correct. Student needs to find a find and flight instructor, not an observer.