March 1, 2008, Key West, Fla., Diamond Aircraft Industries DA20


The airplane was presumed substantially damaged during a ditching in the Atlantic Ocean at 1515 Eastern time, near Key West, Fla. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After descending to traffic pattern altitude, the pilot leveled off and advanced the throttle to increase the power; however, the engine did not respond. The propeller continued to turn momentarily and then stopped completely. The pilot completed the emergency checklist but could not restart the engine. The pilot performed a forced landing to the water, opened the canopy and inflated the life raft he had in the airplane. He entered the life raft and watched the airplane float for approximately five minutes before sinking.

The pilot reported that he purchased the airplane new in April 2006, and last flew it approximately two to three weeks prior to the accident. According to fuel records, the airplane was last refueled on February 6, 2008, with 13.8 gallons of fuel.


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