Diamond, Thielert Disagree On Cause Of DA42 Crash

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Both engines of a DA42 Twinstar quit shortly after takeoff in Germany last month, and now Diamond is saying it was caused by an engine problem while Thielert says it was an airframe issue, Flight International reported this week. The accident airplane's battery had drained overnight and the pilots had apparently started both engines using an external power unit, which is contrary to the published operating procedure that requires one engine to be started by the onboard battery alone. Both Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines stopped when the pilot retracted the gear, which took all available electrical power to accomplish. This caused a very brief interruption in electrical voltage to the two engine control units, and in turn the diesel engines simultaneously quit on climbout. The crew made a belly landing in a field adjacent to the airport. The European Aviation Safety Agency has ordered the companies to work it out and come up with a solution to prevent the problem from occurring again. Germany's Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation is looking into the incident.