Loss Of Power Was Accompanied By A Loss Of Oil Pressure And Dual Engine Control Unit (ECU) Failure

Location: Asheville, NC Accident Number: ERA24LA066
Date & Time: December 14, 2023, 20:15 Local Registration: N907L
Aircraft: Diamond Aircraft Ind Inc DA 40 NG Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional

On December 14, 2023, at 2015 eastern standard time, a Diamond Aircraft Ind. Inc. DA-40 NG airplane, N907L, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Asheville, North Carolina. The flight instructor sustained minor injuries and the private pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

The flight instructor and private pilot were conducting a cross-country flight at night when they felt a “shudder” followed by a loss of engine power. The loss of power was accompanied by a loss of oil pressure and dual engine control unit (ECU) failure. The flight instructor took control of the airplane and used the checklist to restart the (diesel) engine. The engine restarted momentarily but again lost power shortly after. The flight instructor was able to restart the engine again, but the cockpit began to fill with smoke before the engine lost power a final time. The flight instructor then made a forced landing to an interstate. Just prior to landing, the airplane struck an energized power line, and the airplane impacted the ground and caugh fire.

The airplane wreckage was recovered to a secure facility for further examination. At the time the airplane was recovered, a connecting rod was observed separated from the engine. The airplane received its airworthiness certificate on September 25, 2023, and it’s last 100-hr maintenance inspection was completed on December 9, 2023. At that time, the airplane and engine had accrued a total of 95 flight hours.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov