Thursday, December 09, 2021

Aerodynamic Stall/Spin: Diamond DA40 NG, N853L; fatal accident June 06, 2021 in Darlington, Montgomery County, Indiana





Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Hatch, Craig

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana 
Lift Training Academy; Indianapolis, Indiana 
Diamond Aircraft; London, Ontario, Canada 
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Austrian Federal Safety Investigative Authority

Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket

Lift Aircraft LLC
Location: Darlington, Indiana
Accident Number: CEN21FA252
Date and Time: June 6, 2021, 10:20 Local 
Registration: N853L
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 40 NG 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Analysis

The flight instructor and student pilot were conducting a training flight. Automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) and onboard data revealed heading, engine power, and altitude changes consistent with maneuvering. Just before the accident, the airplane entered a power-off stall from an altitude of about 4,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The right wing dropped, the pitch attitude decreased, and the airplane entered a descent consistent with a spin. Ground scars and the orientation of the wreckage were consistent with an impact with terrain in a slight right-wing-low, nose-down attitude. The wreckage was highly fragmented with scattered debris that extended for about 75 yards. There were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. Review of engine data indicated nominal engine performance before the accident.

The airplane was not approved for spin maneuvers; however, the airplane’s flight manual provided a recovery procedure in the event of an unintentional spin.

The circumstances of the accident are consistent with an inadvertent spin and loss of control while practicing an aerodynamic stall. Because the airplane was not approved for intentional spins, it is unlikely that the flight instructor had ever experienced a spin in the accident airplane make/model and was therefore likely unfamiliar with its spin and recovery characteristics.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of control while practicing an aerodynamic stall, which resulted in a spin and impact with terrain.

Findings

Personnel issues Total experience - Flight crew
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Flight crew

Factual Information

On June 6, 2021, about 1020 eastern daylight time, a Diamond Aircraft DA 40 NG airplane, N853L, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Darlington, Indiana. The pilot and flight instructor were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 141 instructional flight.

A review of automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane departed and flew northwest about 4,000 ft mean sea level (msl). At the time of the accident, the flight was not in radio contact with air traffic control. A witness heard the airplane, looked up, and saw it in a “nose down, left spin” before it disappeared behind a tree line. He added that it sounded like the propeller was at a high rpm before impact.

Ground scars and the orientation of the wreckage were consistent with an impact in a slight right-wing-low, nose-down attitude. The main wreckage was oriented on a heading of about 037°. The wreckage was highly fragmented with scattered debris that extended about 75 yards.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. A slight odor of fuel was present, along with fuel blight on vegetation along the debris path. Control continuity was established for all flight controls; separations were consistent with overload or impact damage.

A data card was removed from the flight display and the engine’s electronic engine control unit (EECU), which was damaged in the accident, was also secured for later examination. The EECU was shipped to the engine manufacturer for data download. The exam noted no preimpact abnormalities that would affect engine operation. The engine was running normally and appeared to respond to the power lever requests.

A review of the airplane’s Garmin G1000 data revealed several turns and engine power and altitude changes, consistent with airplane maneuvering. The data revealed that the airplane was about 4,000 ft msl when engine power was reduced; as the airspeed decreased, the airplane’s pitch attitude increased. The airplane’s pitch then decreased to a nose-down attitude, and the airplane made a right, spiraling turn consistent with a stall and spin entry.

The flight instructor was a graduate of the flight school’s training academy and had earned her flight certificate on March 30, 2021. She had about 329 total hours of flight experience and 44 hours as a flight instructor.

The student pilot had about 16 total hours of flight experience.

The airplane was not approved for spins. The aircraft flight manual noted the following procedure for recovery from an unintentional spin (see figure).



History of Flight

Maneuvering Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 28
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 20, 2020
Occupational Pilot: Ye
s Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 329 hours (Total, all aircraft), 312.2 hours (Total, this make and model), 251.9 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 79.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 51.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 21
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 8, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 16 hours (Total, all aircraft), 16 hours (Total, this make and model), 16 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC 
Registration: N853L
Model/Series: DA 40 NG 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 40.NC055
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 25, 2021 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1432.5 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Austro
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: E4-A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCFJ 
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 10:15 Local
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4500 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Indianapolis, IN (KIND)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Darlington, IN 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.114244,-86.75415(est)

=========

Location: Darlington, IN 
Accident Number: CEN21FA252
Date & Time: June 6, 2021, 10:20 Local 
Registration: N853L
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA40 NG 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On June 6, 2021, about 1020 eastern daylight time, a Diamond Aircraft DA 40 NG airplane, N853L, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Darlington, Indiana. The pilot and flight instructor were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 141 instructional flight.

A review of Automatic Dependent Surveillance -Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed the airplane departed from the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) and flew northwest at an altitude of about 4,000 ft mean sea level (msl). At the time of the accident, the flight was not in contact with air traffic control.

A witness located in a house nearby heard the airplane’s engine, an impact, and then quiet. Another witness heard the airplane and looked up; the airplane was in a “nose down, left spin” before it disappeared behind a tree line. He added that it sounded like the propeller was at a high rpm before impact.

Ground scars and wreckage were consistent with the airplane’s impact with terrain in a slight right wing low, nose down attitude. The main wreckage was near its initial impact point on a heading of about 37°. The wreckage was highly fragmented with scattered debris that extended for about 75 yards.  

A preliminary review of the airplane’s Garmin G1000 flight data also revealed the airplane departure and northwesterly track. The flight data revealed several turns, engine power, and altitude changes, consistent with the airplane maneuvering. The data also revealed the airplane was about 4,000 ft msl when engine power was reduced; as the airspeed decreased, the airplane’s pitch attitude increased. The airplane’s pitch then decreased to a nose down attitude, and the airplane made a right, spiral turn consistent with a stall and spin entry.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC
Registration: N853L
Model/Series: DA40 NG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCFJ
Observation Time: 10:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C /17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4500 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Indianapolis, IN (KIND)
Destination: Darlington, IN

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.114244,-86.75415 (est)
 

Kristen Green

Kristen L. Green
January 6, 1993 - June 6, 2021



Kristen L. Green, 28, of Swisher, Iowa, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Indiana. A graveside dedication with family and close friends will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at DuPont Cemetery on Amana Road in rural Swisher. Visitation will be held from 10 – 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 12, 2021, in the Legacy Center at Murdoch-Linwood in Cedar Rapids. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Legacy Center. Casual dress is encouraged.

Kristen was born on January 6, 1993, in San Mateo, California, the daughter of Scott and Linda (Moore) Green. She graduated from Linn-Mar High School and went on to obtain her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Kristen was a certified flight instructor at the Lift Academy in Indianapolis. She was an adventurer at heart and enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Survivors include her parents, Scott and Linda Green of Swisher; siblings, Michael (Jacki) Green of Columbus, Ohio, and Justin (Hannah) Green of Marion; niece, Evelyn Green; grandmother, Lois Moore of Bolivar, Missouri; as well as many extended family members.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family to be used to support Kristen’s favorite organizations.



Benjamin Alexander Corbet
March 20, 2000 - June 06, 2021


Benjamin Alexander Corbet, 21, loving son of Todd and Helena Corbet passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2021.  He was a resident of Franklin.

He was born on March 20, 2000 in Alingsas, Sweden.  Benjamin is survived by his parents, Todd and Helena (Stomberg) Corbet; his brother, Nicholas Corbet; paternal grandfather, Keith Corbet; maternal grandparents, Daga & Bernt Stomberg; Uncles, Scott Corbet (Karen); Mikael Stomberg, Magnus Stomberg (Victoria) and Fredrik Stomberg; cousins, Colton and Mason Corbet and Jesper Stomberg and his Great Aunt, Berit Stomberg (Alf).  He was preceded in passing by his paternal grandmother, Dawn Corbet and great paternal grandmother, Gudrun Beattie.

Benjamin was a 2018 graduate of Franklin Community High School.   He attended Lift Academy; attended one year of the Aviation program at Ivy Tech and one year at Vancouver Island University in Canada.

Benjamin was employed by Kroger in Franklin where he worked as a cashier and at the front desk.

He liked photography and loved to fly.

A gathering for family and friends will be held on Thursday, June 17 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Flinn and Maguire Funeral Home, 2898 North Morton Street, (U.S. 31 North) in Franklin.

Expressions of caring and kindness may be received to the family at www.flinnmaguire.net


DARLINGTON, Indiana (WISH) — A Franklin, Indiana, man and an Iowa woman were identified Wednesday as the two people who died in a plane crash Sunday in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County authorities received a 911 call about 10:20 a.m. Sunday about a small plane in a field north of the intersection of County Road 800 East and State Road 47, Sgt. Jeremy Piers with Indiana State Police said Sunday.

Benjamin Corbet, 21, of Franklin, and Kristen Green, 28, of Swisher, Iowa, died in the crash, the Indiana State Police said in a news release Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday said the Diamond DA40 NG crashed at 10:20 a.m. Sunday in a field just outside the town on Darlington. The area is about 30 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane departed from Lift Academy in Indianapolis at 9:53 a.m. The FAA said it would release the aircraft tail number after investigators confirm it. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.

A spokesperson for Lift Academy shared a statement on Sunday afternoon: “We are heartbroken by this tragic accident and the loss of our team members. We will support their families in any way possible and work with the NTSB to fully investigate this event.”

Lift Academy, the Leadership in Flight Training Academy, is headquartered near the northeast end of the campus of the Indianapolis International Airport. It opened in September 2018 and is owned and operated by Republic Airways, a regional airline also headquartered in Indianapolis. Republic operates daily flights for American Airline, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. The academy offers three programs, including a pathway to a career with Republic. Eight pilots from the academy’s first group of students began their careers with Republic on June 1.

23 comments:

  1. I have owned my DA40 Lycoming 180 for 16 years. Spin characteristics are gentle and easy to get out of per the videos that show its initial spin testing. Almost impossible to stall it - have to try really hard. The DA40 NG crash plane has different wing tips and weight and I believe a higher stall speed. When the NG wingtips came out legacy owners were interested in them for our older DA40s and they could not certify them because it had a negative impact on spin recovery. DA40 NG has 60 knot stall speed in the landing config at Max Gross Weight while my regular DA40 has a 49 stall speed in the landing config at Max Gross Weight. So maybe wingtip impact on spin recovery plus higher stall speed made the difference?

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    Replies
    1. I agree, this accident is surprising. Especially as the data is showing that power was reduced before the pitch up, a power-off stall in a DA40 should be a very docile maneuver. Such a tragic loss of a young CFI and her young student. May they rest in peace.

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    2. DA40’s are notoriously hard to spin. I’ve had many students (inadvertently) try, but the thing always rights itself if you apply opposite rudder. Condolences to the hound instructor and the student. Could’ve been any of us.

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  2. I can't remember where I heard it, but last summer speculation was that the student had a panic induced adrenaline pull up grip and the instructor didn't have the strength to over come it.

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  3. I am a 125 lb female CFI, I once had a student apply full Left Aileron/Right Rudder after a dirty stall in a 172, we got into a spin and I called "My Airplane" 3 times, unable to fight him on the controls. A sharp karate chop to the throat got him to release them right quick (it causes you to unconsciously clutch your throat).

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. That may come in handy one day. And be safe.

      Delete
    2. Some people shouldn't be pilots. Your student was one of them. I hope that idiot never flew again. He could have killed you both. If you freeze up on the controls and don't listen to your instructor as the aircraft goes out of control, you should have your student yanked for live. Just my opinion of course. I'm glad you are still here to even talk about it.

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  4. Wow, she was very new at flight instruction. In reading some of the DA40 forums, it's clear that this aircraft is easy to get into a stall-spin maneuver but with a hard-over aileron or flight panic, extremely difficult to get out of a spin condition. She just didn't quite yet have the chops to muscle the aircraft out of a tight spin condition at that altitude. In the future, could they install a panic-button, that will right the air vessel automatically based on the prevailing conditions using a computer? Seems like an easy thing to start using, to avoid all of these CFI white-knuckle situations.

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    Replies
    1. This may have been stall training that inadvertently entered a stall spin! Not stall/spin training.

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    2. Just where do you get off assuming she was "very new" at flight instruction? If you are looking at the 3/30/2021 date of issue in the airmen registry, that was when she got her instrument instructor add-on. You have no way of knowing if she had her CFI cert for years before that. She had been at Lift Academy for at least a year and she could have taught elsewhere before that.

      Also, saying this crash was because she "didn't quite have the chops yet" is a huge assumption. There have been quite a few very experienced CFIs who crashed in similar circumstances, some of which could be due to the student locking up and not releasing the controls. Some examples: N90559, N4765N, N6449M all had very experienced CFIs on board and all crashed after a rapid descent on good weather VMC days. Don't assume it was the CFIs fault just because she wasn't 50 years old with 30 years of experience.

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    3. Flight instructor certificates are issued every two years, and issued whenever a rating is added. Pilot certificate issue dates also reflect the last issuance, and not the original issuance date. So for example, an 82 year old instructor who has held a valid instructor certificate for decades, will at most have a certificate that shows in the public database as having been instructing for two years.

      This was not necessarily a rookie instructor.

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    4. She was, in fact, a fairly new instructor having only instructed for a few months. I knew her. We were all hit hard by this event.

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  5. I started flying (gliders with Air Training Corps) When I came to my P2 (checkride informed after we landed and had a debrief)qfi started a beatup and I let him. Why he asked I replied " Because you are a CFI have a darned site more hours than me and I assume wish to live. I was informed "wrong answer" If you are flying as P1 it does not matter who is in second seat. Remember always you will never break a locked up grip the only chance you may have is to give that person a hard chop to the throat as that is probably the only thing you can do. This will cause a release quicker than a fist to the face as you can not get much force behind the blow, or a shout. The lesson stuck with me he never did another beatup on a checkride with me after that flight. People very hard luck whatever the final outcome and may you Both Rest In Peace.

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  6. Panic response does not include normal thought processes such as weighing the choices and considering the outcomes before acting. A person's panic reaction operates from "fight or flight" origins and can't be predicted as an extension of personality.

    Keep in mind that the instructor takeover sequence begins after the aircraft reaches a situation where intervention is required. The instructor has a bigger challenge to recover than the student did at the beginning of the upset as speed increases and altitude is lost.

    Sometimes you crash. No muscle lock or fight for control should be presumed unless the person has a demonstrated history of "white knuckle" response on the controls in adverse situations.

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  7. Student pilot avoided confrontation, this is according to his father. I would like to learn more about Benjamin's dimensions of personality. Would he avoid confrontation simply felt a fight isn't worth the energy? Then I don't think he would not release control of the DA40. I'll bet he was passive, no backbone to go against or fight a CFI's instruction.

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  8. Had this happen with a similar scenario out west -- small female CFI, burly student froze, two fatalities.

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  9. Don't see too many DA40 fatal accidents like this. I will be keeping an eye on this investigation.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, if you are able and willing, I'm writing an article on flight instructing in today's environment of pilot shortage and the potential for "rushing" pilots and instructors through the training pipeline and it's potential consequences.

      I would appreciate any and all replies and you will remain totally anonymous.

      Bert

      Delete
    2. In my previous comment, I'm looking for feedback on actual or potential flight training problems that I can use for my article. I'm a freelance aviation writer, been published in many magazines and on the internet.

      Delete
  10. The examiner that she got her CFI with is under investigation too. The examiner has almost a 100% first time pass rate for CFI applicants with LIFT and 100% pass rate for all other LIFT student's ratings. I heard the DPE was doing 2 hour orals and 1 hour flights with LIFT CFI students. LIFT also teaches excessive usage of auto pilot and reliance on systems versus flying skills. Indy international also only lets them fly in and out of airspace during certain times because LIFT is such a mess. This is common knowledge in the area along with the FAA investigating them. Ive also heard the IRS is investigating LIFT too for their tuition reimbursement and employment contract scam.

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    Replies
    1. ive heard this to from several people in thearea also a lift instructor

      Delete
  11. Doing an article on newbie flight instructing, with the possibility of "rushing" CFI's through the pipeline to get them hours. If you know of anyone willing to talk to me, please contact me here; randybeneficio@gmail.com

    Thanks

    Randy

    ReplyDelete

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