Engine Subsequently Shook “Violently” Followed By A Total Loss Of Engine Power
Location: Matthews, VA Accident Number: ERA21LA250
Date & Time: June 14, 2021, 12:30 Local Registration: N458MA
Aircraft: Diamond DA20 Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional
On June 14, 2021, about 1230 eastern daylight time, a Diamond DA20-C1, N458MA, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Matthews, Virginia. The flight instructor and student pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.
The flight instructor reported that during a short cross-country flight to Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay, air traffic control instructed the flight to descend from 5,500 ft mean sea level (msl) to 2,500 ft msl, due to an active military operations area. After the student pilot leveled the airplane at 2,500 ft msl, the flight instructor noticed engine vibration and roughness that he initially corrected by advancing the throttle from 1,900 to 2,200 rpm; however, the engine subsequently shook “violently” followed by a total loss of engine power. The flight instructor took control of the airplane and realized that there was not enough altitude to glide to a shore. The flight instructor then ditched the airplane in Chesapeake Bay near a fishing trawler where he and the student pilot were rescued.
The wreckage was recovered about 2 weeks after the accident and retained for further examination.