On October 17, 2023, at roughly 10:50 a.m., a Tecnam P 2010 Mk II, crashed shortly after takeoff from Taylor Field, Ocala Florida, seriously injuring the student pilot and their instructor. Our hearts go out to the pilots and their families, and we wish them a speedy recovery from their injuries.
The Tecnam P 2010 Mk II aircraft is owned by Legends Aviation Academy, registration number N118T. The student pilot and instructor were apparently conducting cross-country flight training at the time of the accident.
According to reports, shortly after takeoff, the aircraft’s engine lost power and stopped. While still over the runway, an attempt was made to land; the aircraft stalled and crashed in the grass along Runway 26, causing substantial damage to the aircraft. Despite the rupture of the aircraft’s fuel tanks, there was no ensuing fire. Both passengers were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident. While it is too early in the investigation to determine what may have caused the engine to lose power and stop, the NTSB will examine the engine and its maintenance records to determine a cause.
The Tecnam P 2010 Mk II is normally equipped with either a Lycoming Engine IO-360-M1A or a Lycoming Engine IO-390-C3B6.
The NTSB will also investigate why the aircraft stalled after losing engine power. An engine stall and an aircraft stall are not the same and are often conflated by the general public. While an engine can stall from a lack of fuel or other factors causing an engine to fail to produce power, an aircraft only stalls when the wing exceeds a critical inclination in relation to the oncoming air flow. This ratio between the wing inclination and the airflow is known as the angle of attack of the wing. Once the critical angle of attack is exceeded, the wing will no longer generate lift, thus stalling and causing an uncommanded and uncontrolled descent.
The NTSB investigation will likely take at least eighteen months, after which the agency will issue its final report that will contain a statement of probable cause. An accident docket will also be made available.
Based on the facts of the investigation, the applicable law will most likely be Florida state law with flight operational standards, possibly from the Federal Aviation Regulations.
Aviation Law Group handles many aviation accidents involving engine failures, flight instruction and stall/spin accidents. Attorney Chris Rusing is licensed in Florida State and Federal Court and brings the full experience of Aviation Law Group’s attorneys over 30 plus years of litigating complex aviation accidents.