Friday, September 02, 2022

Diamond DA42 NG Twin Star, N43RG: Fatal accident occurred September 01, 2022 at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL), Orange County, Florida

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.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Hicks, Ralph

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

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

Diamond Aircraft Sales USA Inc 

Location: Orlando, Florida
Accident Number: ERA22LA395
Date and Time: September 1, 2022, 17:00 Local
Registration: N43RG
Aircraft: Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 42 
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On September 1, 2022, about 1700 eastern daylight time, a Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 42 NG, N43RG, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Orlando, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured, and a flight instructor was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

The local, instructional flight was to originate at Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), Orlando, Florida. The flight instructor reported that he and his student checked the weather and determined that there was a small area of precipitation, about 2 nm wide, over Orlando International Airport (MCO), which was slow moving, and would be in the vicinity of ORL after their departure. The flight taxied to runway 7 and performed pre-takeoff checks at taxiway A7. During this time, the weather deteriorated, with wind gusting to 40 knots and visibility dropping to zero. They elected to hold in place rather than attempt to taxi back to the ramp. Shortly thereafter, the wind gusts increased to about 60 knots. The airplane’s left wing lifted, and the airplane rolled to the right. The flight instructor attempted to shut down the engines, and the airplane rolled over, inverted.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage was noted on both wings, the fuselage, and the empennage.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Diamond Aircraft Industries
Registration: N43RG
Model/Series: DA 42 NG 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KORL,104 ft msl 
Observation Time: 17:08 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C /19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Wind 
Speed/Gusts, Direction: / 49 knots,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1600 ft AGL 
Visibility: 0.25 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Orlando, FL
Destination: Orlando, FL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 28.54386,-81.33903 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Aircraft taxiing for departure and flipped over due to a wind gust.  

Date: 01-SEP-22
Time: 21:00:00Z
Regis#: N43RG
Aircraft Make: DIAMOND
Aircraft Model: DA42
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal
Pax: 1 Minor
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91

Alfa Ekele
Military Pilot

Instructor Pilot, DA-40NG Nigerian Air Force

1. Planned and conducted activities for balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time, providing students with opportunities to observe, question and investigate.
2. Conducted on-the-job combat training classes and live missions and demonstrated principles, techniques, procedures, and methods of military flying.
3. Selected curriculum and instructional aid to increase student pilots' understanding of core concepts.
4. Planned and executed attack missions on terrorism infested regions, employed necessary ordnance to save lives of civilians.

Aircraft Accident Investigator Nigeria Air Force

1. Reported results of investigations with written observations and photographs and produced final reports.
2. Managed aircraft accident scene investigations by collecting evidence, performing fingerprinting, and taking videos and photos of scenes.
3. Cordoned off scenes to protect evidence and prevent unauthorized access.
4. Removed evidence from crime scenes, including clothing fibers, hair and samples for in-depth analysis.

Flight Safety Officer 401 Flying Training School

1. Responded to emergency situations in most efficient, effective ways possible.
2. Conducted regular inspections of facilities to check compliance with fire, hazard, and safety guidelines.
3. Examined hazardous incidents and accidents to uncover causes and provided corrective actions.
4. Created and implemented programs, policies and procedures designed to effectively reduce or eliminate injuries and hazards in workplace.
5. Held safety training and traffic safety instructional courses which led to marked improvements in safety culture across personnel groups.
6. Created and compiled safety training procedures into manuals to disseminate to staff members.
7. Provided leadership of Air Force Training Command with strategic and tactical advice to advance or resolve pilots' compliance cases.

Instructor/Combat Pilot (L-39ZA Albatros) Flying Training School

1. Planned and conducted activities for balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time, providing students with opportunities to observe, question and investigate.
2. Conducted on-the-job combat training classes and live missions and demonstrated principles, techniques, procedures and methods of military flying.
3. Selected curriculum and instructional aid to increase student pilots' understanding of core concepts.
4. Planned and executed attack missions on terrorism infested regions, employed necessary ordnance to save lives of civilians.

A Florida Institute of Technology student was identified as the person killed earlier this month at the Orlando Executive Airport after wind gusts of 60 mph flipped a twin-engine plane he was in, university officials said.

The deadly incident was caused by a microburst as severe weather descended on the airport September 1 as the Diamond DA42 NG Twin Star was waiting on the taxiway. A second person was injured, airport officials reported. 

Investigators from the NTSB are investigating the incident involving the airplane. 

The Florida Tech student was identified as Alfa Ekele, a Nigerian national who was working on a master's degree in administration of applied aviation safety at the university’s College of Aeronautics. The incident was not related to Ekele's work at the school in Melbourne, university officials confirmed.

"Alfa was dear to many, and anyone who knew him was impacted by his faith and pursuit of God, genuine love for his family, contagious smile, generosity and impeccable work ethic," said Maureen Namukasa, a doctoral student in aviation sciences and Alfa's friend.

"He was a passionate pilot who excelled in all his classes and was on the path to working in civil aviation," she said.

Judith-Ann Jarrette, director of the airport, told media outlets that the twin-engine aircraft had taxied out on Runway 7 when winds from severe weather moving into the area flipped the aircraft upside down. The Orlando Fire Department responded to the site. A federal investigation is ongoing. 

Ekele is survived by his wife, Precious Ekele, and two children. Florida Tech will hold a public memorial service for Ekele at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the All Faiths Center on campus.

ORLANDO, Florida - The owner of a Cessna 182H Skylane that flipped over yesterday at Orlando Executive Airport says they're stunned by what happened, and just trying to figure out their next steps. FOX35 is still working to learn more details about the victims of yesterday's accident.

Cell phone video showed the powerful storm blowing through Orlando on Thursday. Pilot Remy Colin often flies out of Orlando Executive Airport, and says his plane wasn't one that flipped, but his crew scrambled to secure their gear. 

"They saw the radar, and they started putting things away. They were lucky, they had zero damage. They had one hangar door that caved in, came off the rails. That was the extent of their damage," said Colin.

Airport officials said the severe weather came through around 5:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. A Cessna 182H Skylane and a Diamond DA42 NG Twin Star both flipped over. 

The Cessna 182H Skylane was empty, but the Diamond DA42 NG Twin Star had two people inside it. One of them died, and the other was left seriously injured. 

Colin said he was surprised that it happened. 

"Jets don't move much. Those things are heavy. It would take 80-90 mph winds to start moving those things," said Colin.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Greater Orlando Aviation Authority are investigating the deadly accident. 

FOX35 spoke with the Cessna 182H Skylane owner who didn't want to be identified. 

She said they're shocked by what happened, but have insurance to cover the damage. She said the plane is a total loss. Colin says the weather took everyone by surprise. 

"That was not a normal thing, yesterday was not a normal thing," said Colin.


  1. Peak wind of 54 knots from 120˚ at 20:55 UTC
    KORL 012108Z VRB05G49KT 1/4SM R07/0400V6000FT TSRA BKN016 BKN029 OVC040 26/19A2995 RMK AO2 PK WND 12054/2055 WSHFT 2048 LTG DSNT ALQDS P0067 T0256018

  2. Taxing for DEPARTURE during a TRW?

    1. exactly. Why would you even be in the plane with strong wx moving in.

  3. Unbelievable in so many ways....Looking hard/scary to get Pilots with common sense.

  4. I am in a high rise 3 miles west of ORL. I was watching the weather develop. The storm formed rapidly just east of the airport and just as rapidly enveloped the field. It was clear to the northwest. Several planes landed just ahead of the storm and at least one was still taxiing. From what I can piece together, I think the Diamond was taxiing for a takeoff into the clear area and the storm hit a lot sooner than anyone expected. The reports are that it was holding in a run up area waiting for the storm to pass as its best option. The “gust” was obviously a microburst. Confirming, I had to drive by the airport on my way to work this morning — approximately 1/2 to 3/4miles from the accident site — and there were many downed trees in a discernible arc. There was a microburst at the same area of the airport that destroyed a 172 parked almost exactly where the 182 was overturned yesterday.

    1. After Denver, the ORL area ranks #2 in the number of microburst I have seen and microburst warnings I have received over the course of a 30 plus year career.

  5. The other microburst was in July.

  6. Here is the NEXRAD weather radar playback for one hour before through one hour after the 2100Z time listed for the event (see ORL marker):


  7. If the pilot was tall in stature, his head would be very high against the canopy. I could see a spinal (cervical) compression fracture (multiple crushing) and instant death.

  8. Forward tipping canopy offers no meaningful crush protection.

    The arch frame that the rear of the tipping canopy seats on over the pilot's head is the ONLY structural element present to prevent cockpit crush-down in a gust driven taxiing (or stopped on taxiway) flipover.

    Cockpit crush-down with positional asphyxia and/or spinal compression are high likelihood if there was yielding of that arch frame.

    Photo showing arch frame, with pilots seated:

    1. The CFI who survived had his seat position slightly more backward, so he was protected by the bar, as it was right over his head. The other person had his seat all the way forward and was thus not protected by the bar. The seat position in a roll over is quite important in a DA40 or DA 42 and a few inches difference in the adjustment of the seat can mean the difference between life and death.

    2. The seats in a DA40 and DA42 do not move. Electric rudder pedals move forward and aft.

    3. The back of the seats can get reclined slightly and yes the rudder pedals can be adjusted as well.

  9. I don’t understand why a cfi and flight school would allow a lesson with a metar showing winds gusting to 50kts and with obvious tsra weather in the near area

    1. They didn't anticipate or intended to beat the rapidly developing buildup when the taxi began at 20:43Z (as captured in Adsbexchange track of taxi, linked at end of this comment).

      Taxi was underway at 2043Z, with this 2041Z report:
      KORL 012041Z 15011G16KT 110V180 10SM TS SCT041 BKN060 BKN095 32/23 A2994 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT ALQDS TSB35 T03170233

      They stopped movement on the taxiway at 2045Z. Then:
      KORL 012053Z 12029G38KT 2 1/2SM R07/5500VP6000FT TSRA FEW020 BKN039 OVC060 27/22 A2995 RMK AO2 PK WND 11038/2053 LTG DSNT ALQDS RAB51 TSB35 SLP142 P0009 60009 T02670222 55019

      KORL 012057Z 10043G54KT 1/2SM R07/2600VP6000FT +TSRA SCT022 BKN039 OVC060 24/21 A3002 RMK AO2 PK WND 12054/2055 LTG DSNT ALQDS PRESRR P0015 T02440211

      Last ADS-B data point captured was 20:57:14Z.

      Capture of the taxi track:

    2. I’m sorry but they did. A storm with 56-knot gusts doesn’t develop in ten minutes. Never, ever try to beat an approaching storm. I’ve seen this happen before, but they usually make it into the air before they die. Absolutely ridiculous decision here.

    3. you mean it was ridiculous to wait it out instead of taxiing back to the FBO??

  10. This accident probably won't result in an advisory circular being issued to warn pilots of bubble canopy aircraft that they should climb out and run away instead of waiting out passing weather during ground movement holds.

    Are there any FAA "cockpit crush resistance" standards or testing for the circumstance of wind-driven flipover at zero ground speed? Maybe not, since the rate of occurrence of that circumstance is low, which allows manufacturer's POH to omit warnings that your bubble canopy may yield in a wind flipover and allow you to be crushed. Manufacturers might be able to say "We weren't required to design or test for that".

    No consumer watchdog organization will perform independent testing by flipping over legacy roofed cockpit designs vs bubble for strength comparison. Same thing for inverted entrapment comparisons of bubble and gullwing designs vs side swing doors.

    The "shouldn't have gone forth in those conditions" refrain is true but doesn't address the crush vulnerability inherent in bubble canopy designs. Wall posters warning about bubble canopy wind flipover vulnerability could be produced by AOPA for display at FBO's if safe operation is a goal.

    Appropriate POH cautions and warnings combined with FBO/CFI awareness for bubble canopy aircraft might have saved this man's life, or the life of the next person that will be lost this way.

  11. I will refrain from making a stupid comment but.. I won't even go for a ride on my motorcycle knowing that thunderstorms will be in the area later in the day. These days we all carry that super computer in our pockets called the cell phone, so a quick check if you got an IOS has My Radar on it. Do I need to say more?

  12. How many armchair weather experts commenting here have extensive experience flying around Central Florida in the summer? The area from Tampa through Orlando to Jacksonville has the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the US (not the biggest but the most). Weather is dynamic and can change greatly in 10 minutes. If you put off flying or biking because thunderstorms are forecast, you'll end up staying inside all summer.

    1. Exactly. Rode motorcycles most days to work, donned rainsuits as required to get home, took my family and water ski buds on my boats on Central Florida lakes and rivers, living in the area since the 1960's. You have to duck, stop or run from it for a while as the cells blast by, and you learn to read the wind being sucked inward to the dark buildups that will soon drop on you and recognize others that are outflowing wind toward you as they wrap it up winding down.

      Learned and did it all without a cell phone. Understood the dynamics of the daytime heating of the St. Johns corridor, sea breeze advancing and declining, all of it by living there. People presuming it is all frontal boundary mass moves are clowns that would be forever trapped at home.

  13. I still cannot believe that we are training Nigerians to fly our aircraft.

    1. ^ The trolling lure is out, working the line, watching the bobber...