On June 26, 2013, about 2200 central daylight time, a Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. DA 20-C1, N322FS, experienced a hard landing when the airplane touched down on its nose wheel at Odessa-Schlemeyer Field Airport (ODO), Odessa, Texas. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall. The private pilot was uninjured. The airplane was registered to Pilot Coach Aviation Inc and operated by Flight Source under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that last departed Georgetown (GTU) Municipal Airport, Georgetown, Texas, about 1930 and was destined for ODO. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that she had flown N322FS, about two weeks before the accident, from ODO to OXO and left the airplane there until she returned to fly the airplane back to ODO. The landing at OXO was at night. The pilot stated that for the flight from OXO to ODO, she checked the weather using a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association website, satellite information, radar information, and weather forecasts. She also used her iPad for weather information.
The pilot departed CXO about 1600 and stopped at GTU about 1715 for dinner before departing for ODO about 1730. The flight was smooth and there were no problems with either turbulence or the plane. The pilot obtained ODO automated surface observing system (ASOS) information when the airplane was about 25 miles from ODO. About 3 1/2 miles from ODO, the pilot obtained ODO ASOS information, which indicated wind was from 150 degrees at 19 knots, gusts 25 knots. The wind direction was verified by the pilot sighting of the windsock. The pilot stated that wind conditions were at the top of wind capability for the airplane, but it did not exceed the airplane limitations. The pilot extended the left downwind for runway 16 (5,003 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) to take into account the strong wind. The final approach was 4 miles long. The terrain around the area was flat, although there was a neighborhood and water tower right off of the approach end of runway 16. The visual approach slope indicator lights for runway 16 had been out for some time, so the pilot kept the airplane speed up so as not to lose too much altitude and used the first flap setting for the approach. The approach felt completely normal. The pilot said that the approach was a little low, but was still within the limits. Once the airplane was past the runway numbers, the pilot reduced engine power to glide the rest of the way. The initial touchdown was smooth, but the airplane suddenly ballooned twice. On the third bounce, the pilot decided the landing was not recoverable and increased engine power to go around. As soon as engine power increased, the airplane "nose dove" towards the runway and contacted the ground. After exiting the airplane, the pilot felt like the wind was blowing much stronger than 25 knots.
According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the airplane first touched down on the nosewheel, which resulted in nosewheel and firewall damage.
According to the Diamond DA 20-C1 Flight Information Manual, the airplane flap positions for takeoff and landing are 15 degrees and 45 degrees, respectively. The maximum demonstrated crosswind component was 20 knots.
The pilot said that the Diamond DA 20-C1 is equipped with takeoff and landing flaps that are "10 degrees" and "20 degrees," respectively. She stated that she has always used the first flap setting for landings in Diamond DA20 and in Cessna 172 airplanes, because it "felt most comfortable." She stated that she usually rents the Diamond DA 40 at Flight Source, but it had been undergoing maintenance for a while and was not available, so she rented N322FS. She last flew a Diamond DA 40 on March 5, 2013. She said that she did not receive a checkout in a Diamond DA 20-C1 from Flight Source. She said that the owner of Flight Source said that she did not need a Diamond DA 20-C1 checkout, because she had been flying a Diamond DA 40.