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ATC Audio: Pilot Loses Engine On IFR Flight

The flight was still near the airport when the engine on the Diamond DA40 NG quit. The audio is revealing of the kind of pilot at the controls.

Orange County NY Airport
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So you’re on a training mission on an IFR flight plan on an overcast day in a new Diamond DA40 NG turbodiesel beauty. All of a sudden, for as-yet-unknown reasons, the engine quits. The ATC audio of the interchange between the pilot in command and the controller speaks volumes.

The  pilot in command, according to a social media post by a person said to be a friend, said that the incident happened on Saturday (October 24, 2020). That’s supported by the ATC tapes (shared below in greatly truncated form, with silences removed). It’s also confirmed by the FlightAware flight log. Even though it was a short training flight out of New York State’s Orange County Airport (KMGJ) near the Village of Montgomery, NY, it wound up being even shorter than planned.


As the plane was on its way away from the airport, presumably to fly approaches back at MGJ, the engine (an Austro AE-300) quit for unknown reasons. The pilot declared an emergency. The audio recording tells the tale of how that went. To say that the pilot, said to be an instructor on a training flight, was a pro, is an understatement. The controller wasn’t too shabby either.

In the end, all was well. The pilot made a successful dead stick landing back to MGJ. That’s how these stories are supposed to end. And the instrument student got a free lesson in how to stay cool. Great work, all!




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