Austro engine reliability and safety

Discussions specific to Austro engines

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Boatguy
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Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by Boatguy »

I regularly read Aviation Safety and the accident reports. The accident summaries they print are dominated by engine failures. There have been a number of posts on DAN about Austro engine issues in the last two years which has understandably raised concerns about Austro engine reliability. Since I fly an Austro powered plane, and have another on order, I thought I’d check the NTSB database to see what I could find.

I searched for Diamond’s after 1/1/2010 (the Austro was introduced in 2010), and reports that contained NG, 42 or 62. Then I eliminated all the 42’s with Lycoming or TDI engines. What remained were 13 reports.

DA40NG: 5
DA42: 6
DA62 2

Of those 13, only two were due to engine failures and none resulted in a fatality. That said, if the engine failure does not result in an accident, it’s not in the NTSB database. The NTSB reporting is not very consistent and it’s not possible to search on engine manufacturer, so it's possible that a DA40NG accident was reported as a DA40. One DA40NG off field landing that experienced a reduction in power due to an improperly attached induction hose did not show up in my searches. And at least two others that did not result in accidents have been discussed in DAN. That would bump the total to five.

The DA62 failure in Dallas is unresolved, but I think it’s fair to say that a system failure that results in loss of both engines is an engine failure, just as failure of two magnetos would result in a Lycoming engine failure. So that makes six planes, seven engines, and no fatalities.

As of November 2021, based on analysis of several sources within Diamond, I calculated:

Austro aircraft: 374
Austro engines: 595

Back to Aviation Safety, only one, the one not in the NTSB database (improperly installed induction hose), was engine failure on take off, which seems to be the most common time for an engine failure in non-Austro aircraft. Engine failure in cruise and at altitude probably makes a large contribution to the lack of fatalities.

I’m sure others can slice, dice and speculate on what this all means.

************************************************

October 2012 DA42NG N607PA: Hard landing

** December 2016 DA40NG N605SJ: Engine failure - piston fatigue crack

April 2017 DA40NG N154BY: Loss of power due to failure of generic (i.e., not an authorized Austro part) induction hoses between intake manifold and turbocharger

September 2017 DA40NG N910XD: Student pilot - porpoising and RLOC

April 2018 DA42NG: Taxi collision with stationery aircraft

May 2019: DA62 G-MDME: LOC due to wake turbulence on final

July 2019 DA42NG N805PA: Gear up landing

April 2020 DA42 N311ER: LOC during go around

June 2021 40NG N853L: stall / spin / LOC

** March 2022 40NG N471BL: Engine failure

April 2022 DA42 N822SA: Landing gear collapse on rollout

September 2022 DA42: Airplane flipped on the ramp by a microburst

** October 2022 DA62 N84LT: Loss of both engines due to electrical failure
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hifiaudio2
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by hifiaudio2 »

Yes the dual engine electrical failure is an especially scary one. Glad they weren't taking that flight at night!
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by Soareyes »

Last Fall when Diamond/Austro came out with the piston replacement MSB they reported that there had been six piston failures. Maybe two of those, December 2016 and March 2022, are are on your list above.

I believe accidents happening outside the US often don't show up in the NTSB reports.
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by ememic99 »

Boatguy wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:25 am the Austro was introduced in 2010
Small correction - Austro was introduced in 2009.
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by janders »

Without going into too many specifics of the rumored incident, I heard of a 2017 DA62 that suffered from an engine failure shortly after delivery from the factory. Supposedly the aircraft was IMC at the time and had a complete loss of one of the engines. The aircraft landed safely; Diamond investigated and purportedly found contaminated fuel tanks. After replacing the tanks the aircraft suffered another complete engine failure several hours later. This was allegedly caused by damage to the wiring harness when installing the new fuel tanks. I can't find any record of this incident in any database.
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neema
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by neema »

Add our engine failure on a 42-VI to the mix. We had one let go on climb out earlier this week.

~1650 hours on the engine. Service center maintained. We’ve owned it since new. Ran at 75-85% in cruise it’s whole life. Engine wasn’t on the recent MSB

I’ll get more details when we can do a better post-mortem.

Interesting news I heard today is engine cost. Got a rough estimate at $36k for an OV exchange. I thought replacements were pushing $60k these days?
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by chili4way »

Interesting news I heard today is engine cost. Got a rough estimate at $36k for an OV exchange. I thought replacements were pushing $60k these days?
See my reply to your post in the Austro section. If they are not a DASC, get a firm quote; rough estimates may be full of flawed assumptions or based on outdated information. And there's little accountability.

Sorry to hear about your engine failure. Looking forward to hearing more about what happened.
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neema
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by neema »

Paul, shop is a service center. Absolute Aero at HWD. I didn’t think a non-service center can get any parts from Diamond. Our local (non Diamond) shops always had to order through the service centers


I’ll keep you guys posted.
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by mfdutra »

neema wrote: Sat Feb 11, 2023 6:29 am Add our engine failure on a 42-VI to the mix. We had one let go on climb out earlier this week.
Can you describe how the failure manifested in flight?
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Re: Austro engine reliability and safety

Post by Mdm0515 »

Boatguy wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:25 am I regularly read Aviation Safety and the accident reports. The accident summaries they print are dominated by engine failures. There have been a number of posts on DAN about Austro engine issues in the last two years which has understandably raised concerns about Austro engine reliability. Since I fly an Austro powered plane, and have another on order, I thought I’d check the NTSB database to see what I could find.

I searched for Diamond’s after 1/1/2010 (the Austro was introduced in 2010), and reports that contained NG, 42 or 62. Then I eliminated all the 42’s with Lycoming or TDI engines. What remained were 13 reports.

DA40NG: 5
DA42: 6
DA62 2

Of those 13, only two were due to engine failures and none resulted in a fatality. That said, if the engine failure does not result in an accident, it’s not in the NTSB database. The NTSB reporting is not very consistent and it’s not possible to search on engine manufacturer, so it's possible that a DA40NG accident was reported as a DA40. One DA40NG off field landing that experienced a reduction in power due to an improperly attached induction hose did not show up in my searches. And at least two others that did not result in accidents have been discussed in DAN. That would bump the total to five.

The DA62 failure in Dallas is unresolved, but I think it’s fair to say that a system failure that results in loss of both engines is an engine failure, just as failure of two magnetos would result in a Lycoming engine failure. So that makes six planes, seven engines, and no fatalities.

As of November 2021, based on analysis of several sources within Diamond, I calculated:

Austro aircraft: 374
Austro engines: 595

Back to Aviation Safety, only one, the one not in the NTSB database (improperly installed induction hose), was engine failure on take off, which seems to be the most common time for an engine failure in non-Austro aircraft. Engine failure in cruise and at altitude probably makes a large contribution to the lack of fatalities.

I’m sure others can slice, dice and speculate on what this all means.

************************************************

October 2012 DA42NG N607PA: Hard landing

** December 2016 DA40NG N605SJ: Engine failure - piston fatigue crack

April 2017 DA40NG N154BY: Loss of power due to failure of generic (i.e., not an authorized Austro part) induction hoses between intake manifold and turbocharger

September 2017 DA40NG N910XD: Student pilot - porpoising and RLOC

April 2018 DA42NG: Taxi collision with stationery aircraft

May 2019: DA62 G-MDME: LOC due to wake turbulence on final

July 2019 DA42NG N805PA: Gear up landing

April 2020 DA42 N311ER: LOC during go around

June 2021 40NG N853L: stall / spin / LOC

** March 2022 40NG N471BL: Engine failure

April 2022 DA42 N822SA: Landing gear collapse on rollout

September 2022 DA42: Airplane flipped on the ramp by a microburst

** October 2022 DA62 N84LT: Loss of both engines due to electrical failure
I find the stats interesting until you dig deeper and become more curious/cynical. I'm mostly concerned about 1) what continues to remain unreported? For example, the incident of a low time DA40 NG engine failure in NY during training flight in IMC with the CFI happily landing successfully does not seem to now exist and 2) unless and until you're the statistic managing an engine failure all the data doesn't really amount to much.

Once Austro went ex-Mercedes I became nervous. It's so difficult to transition highly engineered technology that it may make sense to await real worl results for a long time before drawing a conclusion.
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