Accident Diamond DA40 Diamond Star N489RS, Sunday 3 January 2021
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Date:Sunday 3 January 2021
Time:12:18 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DA40 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Diamond DA40 Diamond Star
Owner/operator:Avier Flight School
Registration: N489RS
MSN: 40.379
Year of manufacture:2004
Total airframe hrs:3149 hours
Engine model:Lycoming I0360 MIA
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Portsmouth, New Hampshire -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Beverly Airport, MA (BVY/KBVY)
Destination airport:Portsmouth, NH
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
After landing, the flight instructor assumed control of the airplane during the roll, taxied to the hold-short line at the approach end of the runway, and waited for landing traffic. Soon after, the pilot of the landing airplane announced over the tower radio frequency that the airplane holding short was 'on fire.” The instructor confirmed that smoke was rising from beneath the right wing and both he and the pilot receiving instruction egressed the airplane without injury.
Examination of video revealed fire emanating from the right main landing gear wheel and brake assembly, wheel pant, and involved the right wing, which was substantially damaged.
Data downloaded from the airplane's multifunction display revealed high groundspeeds during taxi after landing, and rapid decelerations consistent with hard braking actions before the airplane reached the hold short line. Postaccident examination revealed normal wear of the brake pads and no pre-accident mechanical anomalies. Examination of the fuel cell directly above the right main landing gear wheel and brake assembly revealed that it was intact with no leaks and contained about 15 gallons of fuel. Based on the available evidence, it is likely that the instructor's high taxi speeds, which required multiple brake applications, resulted in the right brake assembly overheating and catching fire.

Probable Cause: The instructor's multiple applications of the airplane's brakes during high-speed taxi over a short duration, which overheated and ignited the right main landing gear wheel brake assembly.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA21LA099
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Download report: Final report




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