Monday, July 11, 2022

Windshear: Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse, N974DA; accident occurred January 25, 2022 at Butts Army Airfield ( KFCS), Fort Carson, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

L3 Doss Aviation


USAF 1st Flying Training Squadron

Location: Fort Carson, Colorado
Accident Number: CEN22LA110
Date and Time: January 25, 2022, 07:28 Local 
Registration: N974DA
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Windshear or thunderstorm
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The flight instructor reported that he and the student pilot were conducting touch-and-go landings. As the pilot turned from base to final, a “fairly significant crosswind” that had shifted while they were in the traffic pattern, pushed the airplane left of the runway centerline. After realigning the airplane with the extended runway centerline, right aileron and “nearly full left rudder deflection” were required to stay on course. When the airplane was on short final, about 200 ft agl, it encountered windshear and descended rapidly impacting the ground about 200 ft short of the runway threshold. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mounts. The pilots reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The flight instructor reported that he took control of the airplane to initiate a go-around but was unable to arrest the descent before
ground impact. About the time of the accident, the student pilot was landing on runway 31 with wind from 360° at 9 knots.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The windshear encounter on short final approach, which resulted in an excessive decent rate and ground impact.


Environmental issues Windshear - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Windshear - Effect on equipment
Aircraft Descent rate - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Knowledge of meteorologic cond - Instructor/check pilot
Personnel issues Weather planning - Instructor/check pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Windshear or thunderstorm (Defining event)
Approach-VFR pattern final Loss of lift

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 5, 2022
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 12, 2021
Flight Time: 3744 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1036 hours (Total, this make and model), 2732 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Student pilot Information

Certificate: Student 
Age: 32, Female
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 11, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 31 hours (Total, all aircraft), 18 hours (Total, this make and model), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N974DA
Model/Series: DA20-C1 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2008 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility 
Serial Number: C0484
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: November 5, 2021 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1764 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8371.3 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-240-B32B
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 125 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFCS,5838 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 07:39 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 313°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3400 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 17 knots / 22 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 20°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -3°C / -8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Pueblo, CO (KPUB) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fort Carson, CO 
Type of Clearance: Traffic advisory; VFR flight following
Departure Time: 07:03 Local
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5874 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 31 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.672946,-104.7501(est)

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