Saturday, March 27, 2021

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University Inc

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 reported that the pilot receiving instruction was practicing a simulated single-engine failure to a landing in the multiengine airplane. The left engine was set to about 12% power, simulating a feathered propeller engine failure. While on final approach to land, the airplane started to drift right of the runway, and the pilot receiving instruction reported that he was having difficulty controlling the airplane due to strong prevailing winds. The instructor reported that he told the pilot receiving instruction to use more left rudder, but the airplane continued to drift right. The pilot receiving instruction decided to abort the landing and initiated a go-around by advancing both engines to full power. During the go-around, the airplane drifted left and then the instructor took the flight controls and applied full right rudder. The airplane continued drifting left, descended, and impacted vegetation, and the landing gear collapsed. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the rudder and empennage. The instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. A crosswind component of between 6 and 10 knots existed.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot receiving instruction's failure to maintain airplane control during a simulated engine failure landing and subsequent attempted go-around in gusting crosswind conditions and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot
Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

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

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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