Saturday, March 26, 2022

Diamond DA-40NG Diamond Star, N471BL: Accident occurred March 25, 2022 near Johnston Regional Airport (KJNX), Smithfield, North Carolina

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; Greensboro, North Carolina

Blue Line Aviation LLC


Location: Smithfield, North Carolina 
Accident Number: ERA22LA169
Date and Time: March 25, 2022, 16:13 Local
Registration: N471BL
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 40NG 
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On March 25, 2022, about 1613 eastern daylight time, a Diamond DA-40NG, N471BL, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Smithfield, North Carolina. The flight instructor and student pilot were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the certificated flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot, they conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane with no anomalies noted before departing Johnston Regional Airport (JNX), Smithfield, North Carolina, on an instructional flight. Preliminary radar data tracked the airplane departing runway 21 and climbing to an altitude of about 650 ft, while making a left turn. The CFI stated, “I heard a weird noise come from the engine. I saw my RPM gauge drop.” The student pilot stated, “I noticed the sound but saw no annunciations [in the cockpit] indicating a malfunction.” Shortly after hearing the sound the CFI instructed the student pilot to turn back to the airport and while in the turn the engine lost total power. The CFI unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine while the airplane descended; however, the airplane impacted trees about ¾ mile from the departure end of the runway.

A post-accident examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the fuselage, tail section, and both wings. Additionally, the engine was examined and a metal substance was noted in one of the cylinder valves.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC
Registration: N471BL
Model/Series: DA-40NG 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: JNX,165 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / 18 knots, 260°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.7 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Smithfield, NC
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 35.5264,-78.384013 (est)

Aircraft crashed in a field shortly after departure for unknown reasons. 

Date: 25-MAR-22
Time: 20:15:00Z
Regis#: N471BL
Aircraft Make: DIAMOND
Aircraft Model: DA40
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: SMITHFIELD
State: NORTH CAROLINA





SMITHFIELD, North Carolina (WNCN) – The occupants onboard a plane that crashed in Johnston County on Friday are expected to survive, Blue Line Aviation confirmed Saturday afternoon.

Two people were onboard when the crash happened, who have now been identified as a commercial-rated instrument flight instructor and instrument-rated private pilot, and were immediately taken to the hospital for treatment.

According to Capt. Jeff Caldwell of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, both were alert and conscious, but the extent of their injuries was not known.

Blue Line Aviation, who is one of the agencies investigating the crash, did not confirm the injuries to the occupants but said one of them has been released from the hospital and the other is in stable condition and will remain under medical care for further monitoring. It did not specify which one was the instructor or pilot.





SMITHFIELD, North Carolina — Officials with Blue Line Aviation said that a flight instructor and a pilot were on board when a plane crashed near Johnston Regional Airport.

According to a Facebook post from the flight school, one person who was injured during Friday afternoon's crash is still in the hospital receiving treatment.

"We are working with the investigators to determine the cause of the accident and will release more information as it becomes available," a statement from Blue Line Aviation said. "We cannot thank you all enough for all of the thoughts and prayers, please continue to pray for the pilots and their families as they continue to heal."

Video from the scene shows that the plane landed on the cockpit. The tail of the plane also flew off during the crash, video shows.