Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cirrus SR22, N5PF: Accident occurred December 27, 2015 near Watertown Municipal Airport (KRYV), Jefferson County, Wisconsin

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota 

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N5PF

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA069
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 27, 2015 in Watertown, WI
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N5PF
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 December 27, 2015, about 1656 central standard time, a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N5PF, was substantially damaged during ground impact after departing from the Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), Watertown, Wisconsin. The pilot, the sole occupant, sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan with a planned destination of Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW), Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The pilot flew multiple instrument approaches at various airports prior to his departure from RYV. Recorded data showed that about 4 minutes after departing RYV, the engine began to surge and subsequently lost power. The pilot attempted unsuccessfully to regain engine power and turned back to RYV. After recognizing his altitude was insufficient to glide to RYV, and with concerns of a forced landing in night conditions, the pilot deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The fuselage was subsequently damaged during a nose down impact with the ground. 

Examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel system, from the fuel selector to the fuel tanks, remained intact, with no breaches noted. Twenty-one ounces of fuel were recovered from the right fuel tank system and the fuel selector was in the right tank position. The left fuel tank system contained about 22 gallons of fuel. The electric boost pump was connected to a battery and operated normally. No pre-accident anomalies were noted with the engine or engine-related components.

The airplane's non-volatile data was downloaded for the accident flight, which revealed that during the last departure climb, fuel pressure dropped, followed by a short rise in exhaust gas temperature (EGT) that rapidly decreased to zero. Fuel flow during the departure climb was about 30 gallons per hour (gph), before dropping and fluctuating between 1.5 and 11.5 gph for the last two minutes of the flight. 

Rocket extraction of the parachute from its enclosure to full line stretch typically takes about 1-2 seconds and complete parachute inflation typically takes about 4-6 seconds from initial activation. The accident airplane's reefing line cutters were designed to fire 8 seconds after the parachute extraction activates them. Once the reefing line cutters fire, the rear harness "unsnubs" (lengthens), which lowers the tail of the airplane into its optimized landing attitude.

The accident airplane's rear harness was found snubbed and still folded, with tack stitching present. The reefing line cutters were present in their Velcro enclosure and expended, which was consistent with the reefing line cutters firing after touchdown of the airplane. 

The airplane's non-volatile data was examined to estimate the CAPS deployment height. Based on a review of the airplane's longitudinal deceleration, indicated airspeed, pitch attitudes, and altitudes, CAPS activation was estimated to have occurred about 344 feet agl. CAPS activation at this altitude and descent profile was consistent with the incomplete CAPS deployment and nose down ground impact found at the accident site. 

Although the pilot's normal habit pattern was to alternate between fuel tanks every 30 minutes using the timer on the GPS, he became distracted and did not accomplish this action during the last hour of the accident flight. After the engine lost power, the pilot did not attempt to switch fuel tanks with the fuel selector, as directed by the Cirrus SR22 pilot operating handbook (POH) engine failure checklist. The pilot stated that his goal on future flights was a more regimented adherence to checklists and flows during distractions, as well as ingraining emergency procedures to muscle memory (e.g. switching fuel tanks with fuel selector). 

The airplane was equipped with a fuel caution light that illuminates if the fuel quantity in both fuel tanks falls below 14 gallons; the caution light does not illuminate if one tank is low (or empty) and the other tank contains greater than 14 gallons of fuel.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA069
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 27, 2015 in Watertown, WI
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N5PF
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 December 27, 2015, about 1656 central standard time, a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N5PF, was substantially damaged during ground impact after departing from the Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), Watertown, Wisconsin. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which departed on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, with a destination of Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW), Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

While enroute from RYV to ENW about 3,000 feet msl, the pilot stated the engine began to surge and subsequently lost power. The pilot attempted unsuccessfully to regain engine power and initiated a return to RYV. After recognizing his altitude was insufficient to land at RYV, the pilot deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The fuselage was subsequently damaged during a nose down impact with the ground. 

At 1655, the weather observation station at RYV, located about 4 miles northwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind 010 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds at 2,600 feet above ground level, temperature 0 degrees C, dew point minus 4 degrees C, and altimeter setting 30.39 inches of mercury.

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