Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cirrus SR20, Purdue University, N580PU: Accident occurred March 29, 2017 at Fort Wayne International Airport (KFWA), Allen County, Indiana

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident 

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana 
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota
Purdue University; Lafayette, Indiana 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Trustees of Purdue University:

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA144
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in Fort Wayne, IN
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N580PU
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 29, 2017, about 2156 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR-20, N580PU, was destroyed when it impacted the ground following a loss of control while landing on runway 5 at the Fort Wayne International Airport, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The certified flight instructor received minor injuries and the student pilot received serious injuries. The student pilot held a private pilot certificate. The airplane received extensive damage to the forward fuselage and both wings. The aircraft was registered to the Trustees of Purdue University and operated by the University under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Purdue University Airport, Lafayette, Indiana about 2100.

In a late Wednesday night press briefing, Fort Wayne International Airport Executive Director Scott Hinderman confirms two people were hospitalized, after their Cirrus SR20 aircraft had a rough landing.

Hinderman says the small aircraft belonged to the Purdue flight school, and that it had permission to land at the airport tonight. Officials say the pilot did not call an emergency landing.

At least one of the two passengers suffered broken bones. Their have not yet been released. 

Hinderman says due to the crash, the airport closed the runway for a short time - redirecting incoming flights to nearby airport - but as of 11 p.m. the runway is back open.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A small, single-engine plane crashed while landing at Fort Wayne Intenational Airport Wednesday night, according to airport officials.

Executive Director Scott Hinderman told Newschannel 15 the airplane was from a Purdue flight school. It is uncertain if students were on the plane or if instructors were flying

Two people were injured in the crash. They were taken by ambulance to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Emergency crews at Fort Wayne International Airport surround a small plane that crashed on Mar. 29, 2017.

The crash was reported shortly after 10 p.m.

Hinderman said a Cirrus SR20 plane was was approaching runway 5 when it crashed for an unknown reason. Henderman said the pilot did not declare an emergency before landing.

The National Weather Service (Northern Indiana) in North Webster reported the following conditions at 10 p.m. at FWA: Cloudy skies but unlimited visibility. The temperature was 48°F with a dew point of 31°F and a relative humidity of 51 percent. The winds were reported out of the east at 23 miles per hour with gusts to 30 miles per hour.

It’s unclear if weather was a factor in the crash.

Emergency workers at FWA have been authorized to move the aircraft to a secure location. Hinderman said FAA investigators are expected to arrive sometime Thursday morning.

The crash forced the closure of both runways at FWA and a brief groundstop for around 30 minutes, according to Hinderman.

Two late night flights were diverted, United 4253 from Newark was diverted to Indianapolis and Delta 3565 from Minneapolis was diverted to South Bend. Both planes eventually landed at FWA only slightly behind schedule.

Hinderman said the airport is back to full operation and does not expect any operational delays Thursday.

Attempts to reach Purdue University officials overnight were not successful.

Story and video:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Two Purdue University flight school students were injured in a plane crash about 10 p.m. Wednesday at Fort Wayne International Airport.

The students — one who was a pilot and the other an instructor — were practicing take-offs and landings in a Cirrus SR20 when they caught a strong crosswind while landing, causing the plane to crash, according to a statement from Jim Bush, a spokesperson for Purdue.

They were transported to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne with non-life threatening injuries.

Both students were enrolled in Purdue's School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.



Jim B said...

Crosswinds do not cause crashes. A properly executed forward slip with minimum flaps is sufficient to manage a strong crosswind on landing.

The Cirrus is too much airplane for a primary student pilot.

Anonymous said...

Bet you couldn't land in a crosswind that strong Jim, bet.

John Stackhouse said...

Jim, Crosswinds do cause crashes. Each aircraft has a maximum crosswind speed listed in the POH. They do that because a crosswind Can and Will cause a crash. Lack of training and experience is also as likely a cause but I would bet if they claim a high crosswind, that played a part.

Anonymous said...

Steady crosswinds don't cause crashes, but heavy crosswind gusts can and do cause crashes.

Jim B said...

Actually did once in a 182T on Rwy 26 at Langley Air Force Base on 26-Mar-2012.

KLFI 262155Z AUTO 35019G27KT 10SM CLR 16/M10 A2993 RMK AO2 PK WND
36029/2127 SLPNO T01591099 $

90 degree crosswind, 10 deg flaps, 1/3 power, full right slip and set down at 75 kts to bring the relative wind vector as far forward on the nose as possible. As far as I could tell put no significant side load on the main gear since we maintained runway alignment all the way to touchdown. I still wonder how far above the pavement the right wing tip was. I do not think it was much more than two feet.

The crosswinds were not forecast to be that strong. We needed to get down before it got worse later that evening.

The POH says maximum demonstrated crosswind component = n knots [demonstrated by a professional test pilot] and what the [lawyers for the tire manufacturers and manufacturer are willing to defend] as a safe product.

I would politely suggest breaking leg bones in a Cirrus (perhaps the safest seats in the industry) requires a serious nose-down crash into the runway that has little to do with crosswinds and more to do with approach speed management.

Let the report bring out the facts.