NTSB Identification: ERA12IA158
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Saturday, December 03, 2011 in Jacksonville, FL
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N486DA
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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. NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

On December 3, 2011, at 2151, eastern standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR20, N486DA, registered to Boston Aviation Leasing II LLC and operated by Aerosim Flight Academy, landed on a highway near Jacksonville, Florida, following a total loss of engine power. The airplane was not damaged. The flight instructor and the student pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and the flight was on an instrument flight rule (IFR) flight plan for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, instructional flight. The flight originated from Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Sanford, Florida, about 2030.

The instructor stated that he and his student were on an IFR cross-country training flight. They departed Craig Municipal Airport (CRG), Jacksonville, Florida around 1500, conducted air work, later landed at a different airport for refueling and for an oil level check. They departed to continue with the training. They completed a touch and go landing at a different airport, afterwards they requested and received a instrument flight plan in the air, clearing them direct to CRG, Jacksonville, Florida. During the flight they performed an intersection holding pattern for approximately 20 minutes then resumed to CRG. They were handed off to another approach controller. Approximately 20 miles southwest of CRG they started the descent from 5,000 feet (ft) means sea level (msl) down to 3,000 ft msl to intercept a VOR approach. When they were about 12 mile from CRG, they were cleared down to 2,000 ft msl. About that time, the engine “coughed”, which did not seem abnormal, 30 seconds later the engine did it again. This time, it was abnormal to them. Within seconds a bang was heard and the engine started vibrating and the rpm was indicating about 1,800.

The instructor immediately took the flight controls and advised the controller of the partial engine power loss. The controller provided airport options for landing. The instructor informed him they were not able to reach those airports. As the airplane descended through 2,500 ft msl, the engine had a total loss of power. The instructor advised the controller they would be landing on a road. The controller acknowledged and would dispatch help. The instructor maneuvered the airplane for a west heading to use the 31 knot tail wind to push the airplane past a bridge near the I-95 highway. He then maneuvered the airplane into the wind, lined up with the highway, flew over a road sign stretching across the highway, and under the following sign, and a bridge, touching down on the road safely. He permitted the airplane to roll in hopes of making it to the off ramp so as not to block the road; however, the airplane stopped short of the exit. With the help of a pedestrian the airplane was pushed to the side of the road until law enforcement arrived. However, before the plane was completely off the road, and with law enforcement present, a truck struck the left navigation light, separating it.

The engine was retained by the Federal Aviation Administration and sent to Continental Motors, Inc, for an engine teardown examination. The teardown discovered failures of several components. The failed components were retained by the National Transportation Safety Board and sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for metallurgical examination.

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