Friday, May 26, 2017

Cirrus SR22, N752C, Linkup Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred November 09, 2015 near Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (KCOS), El Paso County, Colorado

Mike and Paula Fritzel


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 
Hartzell Propeller Inc; Piqua, Ohio

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

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

Linkup Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N752C




NTSB Identification: CEN16FA034 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 09, 2015 in Colorado Springs, CO
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N752C
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


"The following is an INTERIM FACTUAL SUMMARY of this accident investigation. A final report that includes all pertinent facts, conditions, and circumstances of the accident will be issued upon completion, along with the Safety Board's analysis and probable cause of the accident:"


HISTORY OF FLIGHT


On November 9, 2015, about 1052 mountain standard time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22 airplane, N752C, was destroyed when it impacted terrain north of the City of Colorado Springs M
unicipal Airport (COS), Colorado Springs, Colorado. A postimpact fire ensued. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Linkup Aviation LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The personal flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Roanoke, Texas.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control transcripts, the accident airplane contacted COS ground control frequency at 1046:41, reported that they were ready to taxi, and requested an intersection departure from alpha three. The controller responded "…fly runway heading maintain v f r at or below eight thousand five hundred…" and provided the departure frequency, and transponder setting. The pilot responded "alright we'll maintain eight thousand or below and ah departure is one two four." The controller cleared the pilot to taxi to runway 35L via alpha three.

At 1050:12 the pilot reported to COS air traffic control tower frequency that he was holding short of runway 35L at alpha three, ready for departure. The controller cleared the pilot for takeoff and later instructed the pilot to fly runway heading. At 1051:44 the pilot reported to the controller that he was "having engine problems we'd like to turn around." The controller instructed the pilot to enter a left downwind for runway 35L. No other transmissions were recorded from the accident flight.

One witness described hearing the engine surge during the takeoff. A second witness watched the airplane take off from the intersection. When he looked back to the airplane, he expected it to be airborne and observed it still on the ground. He estimated that the airplane was on the ground for several thousand feet before it became airborne and was between 100 and 150 feet above the ground when it passed him.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 63, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings, last issued on November 4, 2004. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate on November 4, 2013. The certificate contained the limitation "Not valid for night flying or by color signal control. Must wear corrective lenses."

Remains of a Taxlog Tax record flight log were found adjacent to the main wreckage. The start date on the first page of the log could not be determined due to fire damage. The first flight appeared to be a business flight with the duration of 6.6 hours. The start tach time was 1,309.8 and the stop tach time was 1,316.4. There were 19 pages of records with the first discernable date starting on page 6 of the record in 2009. All of the flights recorded in the log were in the accident airplane. The last entry on the 19th page was dated March 17, 2015, and was from 52F to AEE/VGT, with a start time of 3,095 and end time of 3,108.2. Two flights prior to that, dated February 19, 2015, the pilot successfully completed the requirements of a flight review and an instrument proficiency check in the accident airplane. The flight was 2.7 hours in duration and included 3 landings and 3 instrument approaches.

On the pilot's medical certificate application, dated October 4, 2011, he reported a total pilot time of 2,350 hours. He did not report this information on the more recent application dated November 4, 2013.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane, a Cirrus SR22 (serial number 0421), was manufactured in 2002. It was registered with the FAA on a standard airworthiness certificate for normal operations. A Teledyne Continental Motors IO-550-N27B engine (serial number 688902) rated at 310 horsepower at 2,700 rpm powered the airplane. The engine was equipped with a Hartzell three-blade, variable pitched propeller.

The airplane was registered to Linkup Aviation LLC., operated by the pilot, and was maintained under an annual inspection program. The maintenance records were not recovered. An invoice provided by the family indicated that an annual inspection had been completed on October 23, 2015, at a Hobbs meter reading of 3,204.5 hours. During the inspection the sparkplugs were replaced and the 500-hour inspection was completed on the magnetos.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest official weather reporting station was COS located just south of the accident site. The routine aviation weather report (METAR) for COS recorded the wind at 200 degrees at 8 knots, sky condition broken clouds at 23,000 feet, temperature 14 degrees Celsius, dewpoint temperature -13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches.

Calculations of relevant meteorological data indicated that the density altitude was 7,446 feet.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS), is a public, controlled (Class C) airport located 6 miles southeast of Colorado Springs, Colorado, at a surveyed elevation of 6,187 feet. The airport had 3 open runways, runway 17L/35R (13,501 feet by 150 feet, concrete), 17R/35L (11,022 feet by 150 feet, asphalt), and 13/31 (8,270 feet by 150 feet, asphalt).

The available runway for an alpha 3 intersection departure on runway 35L is 6,000 feet. 

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The accident airplane was equipped with an Avidyne Primary Flight Display (PFD) and an Avidyne Multi-Function Display (MFD). The flash memory device from the MFD was recovered and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Lab in Washington, D.C., for download.

The MFD was heat damaged in the postimpact fire. The card was not read under normal procedures but rather examined using forensic software. The card contained Global Positioning System (GPS) track data and 61 engine log files – 1 associated with the accident flight. The data file was 11 minutes and 6 seconds in duration.

The recording began at 10:34:06 where GPS track data showed the aircraft was located near a tie down area between taxiways alpha 2 and alpha 3 at COS. Manifold Pressure was recorded as 12 inHg and RPM was recorded as 920 RPM immediately after engine start. For the first three minutes of the recording, values for exhaust gas temperature (EGT) cylinder #5 ranged from 0 deg. F to approximately 1,000 deg. F. The data could not be validated as a true reading of EGT for that cylinder or an anomalous reading due to a sensor issue. Additionally, anomalous values for EGT for cylinder #4 were recorded over the course of the entire event.

As the recording continued, values for EGT (aside from cylinder #4) and cylinder head temperature (CHT) rose as expected as the engine warmed up. Around 10:41:18, manifold pressure was increased slightly to 13 inHg and RPM also increased to a local maximum of around 1,560 RPM. Two RPM drops were present in the recording between 10:41:12 and 10:42:12. During this time, the GPS data showed the aircraft was taxiing to Runway 35L at COS. By 10:44:24, manifold pressure was increased to a value around 22 and 23 inHg. and RPM reached a maximum of 2,620 rpm. The recording ended at 10:45:12 where GPS data showed the aircraft was near the departure end of Runway 35L at COS.

The time stamp of the data from the MFD and the FAA ATC transcripts were not correlated or corrected for any error. For additional details on the recovery of the data from the MFD and illustrations of the recovered data please refer to the Cockpit Display – Recorded Flight Data Specialist's Factual Report in the docket for this investigation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest in a field ½ mile north of the departure end of runway 35L. The accident site was located in an open field at an elevation of 6,200 feet mean sea level (msl) and the airplane came to rest on an approximate heading of 270°. A large ground scar was located just to the east of the main wreckage. The scar was approximately 30 feet in length with three prominent craters consistent in location/position with the main landing gear and the engine. Fragments of fiberglass were located in each of the three craters. The field where the airplane crashed was burned in a radius immediately surrounding the wreckage and then to the north at least a half mile.

The airplane was upright, and the wreckage included the fuselage, engine and propeller assembly, both wings, and the empennage. The entire wreckage was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire.

The fuselage included four seats, personal effects, and the instrument panel. The left cabin door separated from the airframe and was located 45 feet to the west of the wreckage. The right cabin door separated from the airframe and was located 45 feet to the north and the wreckage. The instrument panel was impact and fire damaged and provided the following information:

Kolsman window 30.01
Attitude indicator 20 degrees nose down
Airspeed indicator 0 knots

Engine gauges and remaining instruments did not provide any reliable readings.

Both the fuel mixture control and the throttle control were forward. Impact and fire damage precluded the functional check of these control cables. The throttle was idle at the engine and the cable was stretched in tension. The mixture was close to full rich at the engine and the control cable rod end was impact damaged. The fuel selector valve handle was in the left detent and the shaft was separated. The fuel selector valve assembly was disassembled and the valves were in a position consistent with the right fuel tank being selected.

Seatbelt assemblies consistent with lap belts and shoulder harnesses were found latched for both front seat occupants. Pilot and passenger seat energy absorption modules were crushed flat.

The right wing remained partially attached to the fuselage and included the right aileron and right flap. The right wing, right aileron, and right flap were charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire. Control continuity to the aileron was confirmed from the right aileron actuation pulley inboard the center portion of the fuselage. The right main landing gear separated and came to rest directly under the right wing. The main landing gear assembly was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire.

The left wing remained partially attached to the fuselage and included the left aileron and left flap. The left wing, aileron, and flap were charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire. Control continuity to the aileron was confirmed from the left aileron actuation pulley inboard to the center portion of the fuselage. The left main landing gear remained partially attached and came to rest directly beneath the left wing. The main landing gear assembly exhibited exposure to heat and fire.

The flap actuator jack screw was extended about 2 inches consistent with 50 percent or 16 degrees of flap extension.

The empennage included the horizontal and vertical stabilizer, the rudder, and the elevator. The left and right sides of the horizontal stabilizer and elevator were impact damage and exhibited exposure to heat and fire. The vertical fin and rudder were impact damaged. Control continuity to the rudder and elevator was confirmed from the control surface forward to the center portion of the fuselage. The rudder and aileron interconnect Airworthiness Directive 2008-03-16 was not complied with.

The engine and propeller assembly separated partially from the fuselage at the firewall. The engine cowling was mostly consumed by fire. The propeller remained attached to the engine. One propeller blade came to rest directly beneath the engine.

The engine assembly exhibited exposure to heat and fire. The upper bank of spark plugs was removed and exhibited normal wear signatures as compared to a Champion Spark Plug chart. The number 3 spark plug was clean and the remaining plugs had sooty signatures. The cylinders were borescoped and exhibited normal signatures. The fuel pump was removed and the drive coupling was intact. The fuel pump could not be actuated by hand and exhibited fire damage.

The propeller blades were labeled A, B, and C for identification purposes in the report. Blade A was bent approximately 45° and exhibited leading edge scoring and abrasions at the bend. The tip of the blade was curled. Blade B was bent greater than 90° and exhibited leading-edge scoring. Blade C was bent nearly 180° and exhibited leading edge and blade face scoring. The pitch change knobs for blades A and B remain attached. The pitch change knob for blade C was no longer attached.

The Kevlar straps from the ballistic recovery parachute extended aft of the wreckage to the south. The parachute remained in its packed state. The rocket was located to the south of the parachute pack and remained attached to the pack and bridle. The propellant was expended. The enclosure cover was located adjacent to the wreckage.

No preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were found that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The El Paso County Coroner performed the autopsy on the pilot on November 10, 2015. The autopsy concluded that the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries and the report listed the specific injuries.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the autopsy (CAMI Reference #201500262001). Results were negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. Testing of the blood and tissue revealed cetirizine, diphenhydramine, rosuvastatin, sertraline, and tetrahydrocannabinol.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The engine was relocated to a laboratory for further examination.

The fuel injector nozzles were free of contamination. The plunger on the fuel manifold was free to move and the internal screen was unremarkable. The spark plugs were dark and sooted and exhibited normal signatures when compared to a Champion Spark Plug Chart.

The left magneto exhibited impact damage, exposure to heat and fire, and would not rotate when actuated by hand. Further examination revealed that the internal gear was partially melted along the gear teeth. Once the gear was removed the unit could be actuated by hand – further examination revealed no anomalies.

The right magneto exhibited impact damage, exposure to heat and fire, and would rotate with resistance when actuated by hand. Further examination revealed no anomalies.

The fuel pump exhibited impact damage and exposure to heat and fire. The spline was intact and the unit would not rotate when actuated by hand, but rotated with resistance when force was applied. Further examination revealed internal heat damage and was otherwise unremarkable.

The oil pump exhibited impact damage and exposure to heat and fire. The spline was bent and twisted consistent with rotation at the time of impact. Internal examination exhibited a witness mark consist with impact damage and was otherwise unremarkable.

The timing gear on the cam shaft was impact damaged and the piston head on the number three cylinder exhibited a witness mark consistent with a valve strike. The engine was otherwise unremarkable.

Propeller Exam

The propeller was examined at the wreckage storage facility.

Blade A was bent forward and the damage and scoring was consistent with impact at a positive angle under power. The blade B was bent aft and the pressure plate witness mark was consistent with high pitch at the time of impact. Blade C bent forward.

The pitch change knob for blade C was broken. The pitch change rod was broken on the non-pressurized side of the piston and the assembly contained oil and grease. Separation signatures were consistent with overload. The other two pitch change knobs were not broken.

Excessive amounts of grease were documented inside the hub cavity. Damage inside of the hub cavity and scoring on the propeller blades was consistent with power at the time of impact.


Michael P. Fritzel and Paula J. Johnson Fritzel


Cirrus SR22, N752C


NTSB Identification: CEN16FA034 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 09, 2015 in Colorado Springs, CO
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N752C
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On November 9, 2015, about 1055 mountain standard time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22, N752C, was destroyed when it impacted terrain north of the City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (KCOS), Colorado Springs, Colorado. A post impact fire ensued. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Linkup Aviation LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Roanoke, Texas.


According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot had received clearance to depart from runway 35L. Shortly after takeoff the pilot reported that he had lost engine power. One witness described hearing the engine surge during the takeoff. Several other witnesses described seeing the airplane wing's rock back and forth before the airplane "spiraled" to the ground.


The airplane came to rest in a field ½ mile north of the departure end of runway 35L. The wreckage included the fuselage, empennage, both wings, and the engine and propeller assembly. The airplane was damaged by the impact and the post-crash fire.


The closest official weather reporting station, located at KCOS, recorded the wind at 200 degrees at 8 knots, sky condition broken clouds at 2,300 feet, temperature 14 degrees Celsius, dewpoint -13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.99.

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