Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Diamond DA42 NG Twin Star, N311ER; accident occurred April 01, 2020 at Flagler County Airport (KFIN), Palm Coast, Florida

View of rudder damage. 
Federal Aviation Administration 

View of empennage damage. 
Federal Aviation Administration 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Palm Coast, FL
Accident Number:ERA20CA143 
Date & Time: 04/01/2020, 0900 EDT
Registration: N311ER
Aircraft: Diamond DA42
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The flight instructor of the multi-engine airplane reported that, the student pilot was practicing a simulated in-flight engine failure to a landing. The left engine's was set to about 12% power, simulating a feathered propeller engine failure. While on finial approach to land, the airplane started to drift to the right of the runway, and the student pilot reported that he was having difficulty controlling the airplane during the single engine approach due to the strong wind that prevailed. The instructor reported that he told the student to use more left rudder, but the airplane continued to drift right. The student decided to abort the landing and initiated a go-around by advancing both engines to full power. During the go-around, the airplane drifted to left, the instructor took the flight controls and applied full right rudder. The airplane continued drifting to the left, descended, impacted vegetation, and the landing gear collapsed. The flight instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the rudder and empennage.

At the time of the accident a wind from 40 degrees right of the runway centerline at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots prevailed. The calculated crosswind component was from the right at between 6 and 10 knots. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 26, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
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 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/24/2019 
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/20/2019
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 1439 hours (Total, all aircraft), 584 hours (Total, this make and model), 1311 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 199 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 69 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 20, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/22/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/04/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 235 hours (Total, all aircraft), 16 hours (Total, this make and model), 162 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Diamond
Registration: N311ER
Model/Series: DA42 NG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:2016 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 42.N212
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/05/2020, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4407 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2271.1 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Austro Engine
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: e4-c-00-000-0
Registered Owner: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Inc
Rated Power: 165 hp
Operator: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Inc
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: FIN, 33 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0850 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 42°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 15 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 330°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Daytona Beach, FL (DAB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Palm Coast, FL (FIN)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0830 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Flagler Executive (FIN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 33 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 29
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; 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: 29.465278, -81.207778 (est)

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