Saturday, April 24, 2021

Flight Design CTSW, N378CT: Accident occurred April 22, 2021 near Santa Fe Municipal Airport (KSAF), Santa Fe County, New Mexico

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Location: Santa Fe, NM
Accident Number: WPR21LA173
Date & Time: April 22, 2021, 10:04 Local
Registration: N378CT
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On April 22, 2021, about 1004 mountain daylight time, a Flight Design GMBH, CSTW light sport airplane, N378CT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The flight instructor was not injured and the pilot receiving instruction sustained a minor injury. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight.

The flight instructor reported that they flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to conduct a touch and go landing and were returning to Santa Fe, at an altitude of about 7,500 ft, when he noticed that the oil pressure had decreased; all other engine indications appeared normal. He therefore climbed to a higher altitude, monitored the oil pressure, and positioned the airplane to fly over a suitable landing environment. However, the oil pressure continued to decrease and when the pressure reached about 4 psi, the engine seized. Subsequently, the flight instructor made a forced landing on a dirt field about 8 miles south of the airport. During the ground roll the nose wheel struck a rock and the airplane nosed over.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane and observed the oil leak but could not determine the source. An annual inspection had been completed about 12 hours before the accident flight. Additionally, the flight instructor stated that during the preflight inspection with the pilot receiving instruction, they checked and confirmed the oil level was appropriate.

The airplane was recovered to a secure location for future examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N378CT
Model/Series: CTSW Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSAF,6344 ft msl 
Observation Time: 10:14 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C /-7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 140°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Santa Fe, NM (SAF)
Destination: Santa Fe, NM

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 35.517,-106.182 (est)

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