Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cirrus SR20, N580PU, registered to the Trustees of Purdue University and operated by the University: 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 Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Trustees of Purdue University: http://registry.faa.gov/N580PU

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.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

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 (FWA), Fort Wayne, Indiana. The flight instructor received minor injuries and the pilot receiving instruction received serious injuries. The pilot receiving instruction 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 instructional flight, which operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Purdue University Airport (LAF), Lafayette, Indiana about 2100. The intended route of flight would have returned to LAF with interim stops at FWA and the South Bend International Airport (SBN), South Bend, Indiana.

According to the flight instructor's statement, the flight was conducted as part of the University's commercial flight training program. He stated that his student obtained a weather briefing before the flight and the weather was monitored throughout the flight. He stated that although the surface winds were high, the flight progressed from LAF to FWA uneventfully. He stated that during the landing approach the student applied crosswind correction with the right-wing low (into the wind), and the nose of the airplane pointed straight down the runway. The instructor stated that as the student flared for landing the airplane suddenly and severely rolled to the left. He believed that he heard the left wing scrape the runway. He stated that he assumed control of the airplane and simultaneously added full engine power and full right aileron control to attempt a go-around. He stated that the full right aileron input did little to correct the airplane's roll attitude and the wind pushed the airplane to the left of the runway. As the airplane's airspeed increased the instructor was able to level the wings and started to pitch up for the go-around. He stated that he did not feel as if he had the airplane "under control". When the airplane was about 25-50 feet above the ground it rolled right and nose low. The airplane then impacted the ground. 

The student reported that they were landing on runway 5 at FWA and had planned to perform 4 touch and go landings at FWA before proceeding to SBN. The winds were strong and from the right of the airplane during final approach. He stated that he positioned the airplane in a crab to correct for the crosswind. The airplane remained in the crab and was stable until over the runway threshold. The final approach airspeed was increased appropriately for the gusts. Upon crossing over the runway numbers, he smoothly reduced power and transitioned the airplane into a slip, keeping the airplane banked into the wind and the rudder opposite to keep the nose aligned with the runway centerline. As he began the flare, a strong gust of wind pushed the airplane toward the left side of the runway. Because of this, a go around was initiated but the left wingtip struck the runway. He stated that the instructor took control of the airplane and the subsequent events happened too fast to remember.

INJURIES TO PERSONS

The flight instructor received lacerations to his hands and face, and other cuts and bruises. The student pilot received a fractured femur and various cuts and bruises.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with an airplane single-engine rating. According to a report submitted by the operator, the flight instructor had 414 hours total flight experience with 188 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. He had 149.8 hours experience as a flight instructor with 73.3 hours as an instructor in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The flight instructor's most recent first class medical certificate was issued on June 3, 2015. No limitations were listed on the medical certificate.

The pilot receiving instruction held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land rating. According to a report submitted by the operator, the student had 157.5 hours total flight experience all in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The student's most recent first class medical certificate was issued on July 12, 2016. No limitations were listed on the medical certificate.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Cirrus SR-20, serial number 2039, manufactured in 2010. The airplane was a single-engine monoplane with an airframe constructed predominately of composite materials. The airplane had a fixed tricycle landing gear arrangement. A Continental IO-360-ES engine, serial number 1011589, producing a maximum of 200 horsepower, powered the airplane. 

The operator reported that the airplane was maintained under a manufacturer's inspection program and the most recent 50-hour inspection was performed on March 29, 2017. At the time of the inspection the airplane had accumulated 3,144 hours total time in service. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 2154, the recorded weather conditions at FWA were: wind from 100° at 20 knots, gusting to 26 knots, 10 miles visibility, broken clouds at 10,000 feet above ground level (agl), overcast clouds at 12,000 feet agl, temperature of 9° C, dew point of -1° C, and an altimeter setting 30.09 inches of mercury.

At 1954, about 1 hour before departure, the recorded wind at FWA was from 80° at 18 knots gusting to 25 knots.

At 2054, a few minutes before departure, the recorded wind at FWA was from 90° at 19 knots, gusting to 26 knots.

A search of official weather briefing sources, such as Lockheed Martin Flight Service (LMFS), Leidos weather briefings, and Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS) was done. The pilot under instruction and flight instructor, had received several official weather briefings before the accident flight. 

The Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) that was valid for the time of the accident expected wind from 070 degrees at 16 knots at FWA.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

FWA had three runways, 5/23, 14/32, and 9/27. At the time of the accident, runway 5 was in use and was 11,981 feet long and 150 feet wide.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The accident airplane was equipped with a Recoverable Data Module (RDM), located in the tail of the airplane. The unit was undamaged and the recorded data was downloaded during the wreckage examination. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was examined in a hangar after its recovery from the accident site. The airplane had significant damage to the forward fuselage. The engine was separated and only remained attached by control cabling and wiring. The top of the cowl exhibited crush damage to the right top. The windshield was broken out and the top of the windshield had mud and dirt stains. The firewall was crushed rearward into the cabin area. The right wing was broken about midspan and the tip shattered. The wing was broken in the rearward/downward direction. The left wing was broken about midspan and the leading edge was twisted downward. The pitot tube mounted on the lower surface of the left wing near the tip had its lower rear end partially ground off indicative of runway contact. The cabin section of the fuselage from about 2 feet aft of the firewall to the tail surfaces was intact. The tail surfaces were intact but the lower rudder fairing exhibited mud staining and crushing of the fairing indicative of ground contact. No preimpact structural defects were noted.

Flight control system continuity checks were performed with the following results:

Elevator cable continuity was confirmed from the elevator control surface forward to the elevator bellcrank located in the forward cabin console. Crushing damage to the forward fuselage resulted in the cables having slack. Due to the cable slack, movement of the yokes did not result in movement at the elevator; however, movement of the yoke did result in movement of the bellcrank to which the cables were attached.

Rudder control cable continuity was verified from the rudder forward to the rudder pedals. Crush damage resulted in slack in the rudder cables as well, however, pulling on the cables in the aft fuselage access resulted in both movement of the rudder surface and movement of the rudder pedals.

Aileron cable continuity was verified by pulling on the cables in the center console, which resulted in movement of the aileron actuators in the wings. The link between the aileron control surface and the actuator mounted on the rear spar was disconnected due to impact damage. This was true for both the right and left ailerons. Continuity from the yokes to the cables located in the center console was verified by movement of the yokes which resulted in movement of the cables in the center console. 

Continuity of the left and right yokes was verified by movement of one yoke which resulted in like movement of the opposite side yoke.

Both flaps appeared equally deployed. The flap switch which was positioned at 50 percent.

No preimpact defects were noted with respect to the flight control system. 

The airplane Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) system had not been deployed. The safety pin for the activation handle was found in-place during the wreckage examination in the hangar. The opposite end of the cable which is normally attached to the rocket igniter had been previously disconnected after the accident. The CAPS solid propellant rocket motor, igniter, and reefing line cutters were removed from the airplane. The solid propellant rocket motor, the ignitor and reefing cutters were activated to dispose of potential hazards.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The RDM data that was downloaded during the on-scene examination consisted of comma-delimited text entries recorded at one second intervals. The data contained various flight parameters including but not limited to: aircraft attitude, position, speed, acceleration, engine parameters, etc. At 2156, the RDM recording showed several blocks of missing data with the engine RPM dropping to zero. This was consistent with an impact that stopped the engine. The last data string before impact recorded the airplane in a 56° right roll with the nose pitched up 12°, at an indicated airspeed (IAS) of 57 knots. Three seconds earlier the RDM recorded a roll angle of 17° left wing down, and a pitch attitude of 13° nose up. At the same time, the IAS was 55 knots and the flaps were deployed 100 percent. During this time, the engine speed was above 2,600 RPM, indicating that the engine was at full power during the attempted go-around. According to the RDM data, the aerodynamic stall warning had activated about 6 seconds before the impact.

According to the Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) for the accident airplane, the aerodynamic stall speed at maximum gross weight, most rearward center of gravity, 0° of bank, and 100 percent flap deflection, was 59 knots IAS. The actual airplane loading was not determined during the investigation.

The POH also stated that landings had been demonstrated in direct crosswinds up to 20 knots. Based on the reported wind gusts at FWA, the airplane was landing with a 16.7 knot headwind component and a 19.9 knot crosswind component.

At the time of the accident the School of Aviation & Transportation Technology at Purdue University operated several SR-20 airplanes that were used for student training. The flight department had established wind and crosswind component limitations for all the aircraft that the university operated. For the SR-20 airplane used for dual instruction the wind limits were based on the reported winds and the wind direction relative to the runway heading. For wind 50° from runway heading the maximum wind was listed as 23 knots and was noted to include peak gusts. The wind limitations noted that if the wind began to exceed the limits that the airplane was to be returned to the airport for a full stop landing as soon as practical.

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 International 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:  http://wane.com

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.

5 comments:

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.