Cirrus Fatal April 2017


On April 24, 2017, about 1825 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, N94LP, impacted terrain in Wallingford, Connecticut during initial climb from Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (MMK), Meriden, Connecticut. The private pilot was fatally injured. The passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted in accordance with the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot had been flying out of MMK for several years. He previously owned a Piper PA-28- 180, which he had recently sold, and had purchased the accident airplane about 3 weeks prior to the accident. Since that time, he had transition training from a flight instructor. On the day of the accident, the pilot had decided to increase his proficiency in preparation for a planned trip to North Carolina. According to witness statements and security camera video, about 1740, the airplane departed the airport to the east. Around 1817, the airplane returned to the airport, and witnesses describe that the airplane was "fast and high" as it approached runway 18. The airplane then flared about 10 feet above the runway before it abruptly descended, and then touched down about half way down the runway. The airplane then bounced about three times and then became airborne once again. The airplane banked about 30° to the left, and climbed to an altitude of about 1,100 feet and joined the traffic pattern. About 6 minutes later, the airplane was once again on final approach to runway 18. This time the approach appeared to be slower, but the airplane was again high. It again appeared to flare 10 feet above the runway, abruptly descend, and then touch down approximately half way down the runway. The airplane bounced about two times, the engine began to accelerate, and the airplane became airborne. During the climb, the airplane appeared to be at a higher angle of attack, and it sounded as if the airplane was "hanging on its prop." The airplane rolled into an approximately 60° left bank and descended while turning to the left. It then impacted the ground, slide across the ground while continuing to turn to the left, came to rest, and caught fire. Examination of runway 18, revealed scrapes and S-shaped rubber transfer marks, consistent with an airplane touching down nosewheel first, in two locations that corresponded to the last two bounces that were observed by witnesses, and security camera videos.
Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane first made ground contact with the left wingtip, and after impacting and breaching a 30-foot section of the 8-foot-tall airport security fence, slid across a public use roadway, on an approximate 078° magnetic heading. About 115 feet later, it came to rest in the north bound travel lane against an earthen berm. Most of the airplane was then consumed by a postcrash fire. Further examination of the accident site revealed that a 115-foot-long, and 62-foot-wide, debris path existed that began at the initial impact point, and spread out along the ground until reaching the point where the airplane came to rest. It contained the propeller, which was found buried beneath the shoulder of the south bound travel lane about 37 feet from the initial impact point; the engine cowling, which came to rest about 52 feet from the initial impact point; the left wing tip and a portion of the outer left wing panel, which came to rest about 81 feet from the initial impact point; and the top rail of the breached 30 foot section of airport security fence, which came to rest about 92 feet from the initial impact point. It also contained, smaller subcomponents of the airplane and portions of the airplane structure. Examination of the airplane wreckage revealed no evidence of any inflight structural failure. The wing flaps were up, and control continuity was established from the remains of the cockpit flight controls to the remains of the ailerons, elevator, and rudder. Examination of the propeller and engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact malfunction or failure. The three-blade propeller exhibited chord wise scratching, and leading edge gouging, with the gouges matching the spacing of the chain links of the airport security fence. Oil was present in the engine, and drive train and valve train continuity was confirmed. Thumb compression and piston movement was also confirmed on all cylinders. The spark plugs displayed normal wear with lean operations signatures, and there were no signs of carbon or lead fouling. The magnetos and ignition harnesses were intact, and both magnetos generated sparks at all the ignition leads. Fuel was observed in the fuel manifold valve, and the lines between the fuel flow transducer and the fuel metering unit. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Chart Supplements, MMK was publiclyowned, and was classified by the FAA as a non-towered public use airport. The airport elevation was 103 feet msl and there was one runway oriented in a 18/36 configuration. Runway 18 was asphalt, and was in good condition. Its total length was 3,100 feet-long by 75 feet-wide. According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 1, 2017. On that date, he reported that he had accrued about 1,200 total hours of flight experience. According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 2005. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on March 13, 2017. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 1,229 total hours of operation.

Could training in Angle of Attack and an Angle of Attack Indicator prevented this tragedy?
It's easy to Monday morning quarterback, but experts agree that an AoA if used properly could prevent Loss of Control Accidents, and furthermore enhance the ability to make stabilized, on speed approaches.
The NTSB recommends ALL AIRCRAFT OWNERS install Angle of Attack Indicators.
Learn more about Angle of Attack

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