Sunday, April 8, 2018

Cirrus SR-22, C-GMDQ: Accident occurred April 08, 2018 in Lowville, Lewis County, New York

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Latham, New York
Cirrus Design Corporation; Duluth, Minnesota
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lowville, NY
Accident Number: ERA18LA124
Date & Time: 04/08/2018, 1653 EDT
Registration: C-GMDQ
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 8, 2018, about 1653 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, Canadian registration C-GMDQ, owned and operated by the private pilot, was substantially damaged during a hard landing, following a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) deployment near Lowville, New York. The Canadian-certificated private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Bedford County Airport (HMZ), Bedford, Pennsylvania. The intended destination for the flight was Montreal Mirabel International Airport (CYMX), Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.

The pilot reported that the airplane was in cruise flight at 9,000 ft mean sea level, which was 1,000 feet above clouds. At that time, the autopilot was engaged and in navigation mode to proceed direct to the next waypoint, which was Massena International Airport (MSS), Massena, New York. Air traffic control (ATC) requested that the pilot turn right 20° or more, which the pilot complied with by switching the autopilot to heading mode and selecting the desired heading. Subsequently, ATC advised the pilot that he could proceed back on course. The pilot selected the autopilot back to navigation mode but did not select direct MSS on the GPS. He realized immediately that he was returning to his previous navigation course and then selected direct MSS in the GPS and again selected navigation mode on the autopilot. By the time he returned his vision and attention to the primary flight display, the airplane was descending out of control through clouds. Additionally, the depicted horizon on the primary flight display (PFD) did not appear correct and the pilot activated the CAPS. The pilot reported a total flight experience of 292 hours; of which, 220 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane descended via parachute and landed upright in a field. Subsequently, after all occupants egressed, wind gusts blew the parachute, which inverted the airplane. Further examination of the damage by a National Transportation Safety Board structural engineer revealed that during the upright landing on firm ground, the nose landing gear collapsed and both main landing gear spread outward, which resulted in substantial damage to the primary structure of the airplane.

Examination of the PFD revealed that it did not record any data. A check of the PFD's serial number by the manufacturer revealed that it was 16 years old and had not had a software update in 12 years. As such, the PFD, multifunction display and autopilot did not record any data. Without the data, the investigation could not determine if the autopilot was engaged or disengaged at the time when the airplane departed controlled flight. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 47, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/07/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/01/2017
Flight Time:  292 hours (Total, all aircraft), 220 hours (Total, this make and model), 124 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 19 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Registration: C-GMDQ
Model/Series: SR22
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 0654
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/05/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 15 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2706 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-N
Registered Owner: 9334-9843 Quebec Inc
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GTB, 690 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2049 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 340°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 200 ft agl
Visibility:  1.37 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 310°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -3°C / -6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Snow; No Obscuration
Departure Point: Bedford, PA (HMZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Mirabel, QC (CYMX)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1517 
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  43.821389, -75.571389 (est)

Cirrus SR-22, C-GMDQ, just after landing, still in an upright position.

Lowville, NY- A Canadian family escaped unscathed after their single-engine plane made an emergency landing late Sunday afternoon, near the intersection of Willow Grove and Number Three Roads in the Town of Lowville.

Lewis County Undersheriff Jason McIntosh said that Patrice Makinen, 47, of Quebec, was flying a 2003 Cirrus SR-22 aircraft, with a female passenger identified as Julie Charlebois, also of Quebec, and their five-month-old child, on their way to Massena for refueling. The couple had previously departed from Georgia, with the last refueling stop in Pennsylvania, and were en route back to Quebec.

Mr. Makinen had to divert his route to avoid restricted airspace around the Rome area, taking off the autopilot setting. At an altitude of around 9,000 feet, he encountered heavy clouds associated with a lake effect snow band over Lewis County. Mr. Makinen apparently became disoriented coming in and out of the clouds and noticed a change in pitch in the engine sound.

At that point he decided to make an emergency landing and deployed the aircraft's Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). With no control over the location of the landing, the plane luckily ended up making an upright landing into a field off the Willow Grove Road.

The Sheriff's office received calls to the dispatch center alerting them to a plane with a parachute deployed making a landing in the field. Officials from Fort Drum's Wheeler Sack Airfield also contacted the Sheriff's Office to notify them that they had received a Mayday call, providing officers with the coordinates.

"It's a miracle they ended up landing where they did," Undersheriff McIntosh said.

All three occupants were transported to Lewis County General Hospital for a precautionary evaluation, with no injuries reported.

First responders were concerned that the plane would flip over given the windy conditions and the parachute still being attached to the plane. A tracked UTV was requested to the scene so responders could cut the parachute.

Unfortunately, prior to the UTV's arrival, a gust of wind caught the parachute, flipping the plane end-over-end onto its top. No one was in the plane at that time, and no injuries were reported. The plane is now thought to be totaled after the damage caused from flipping over.

Fuel is slowly leaking from the plane, with approximately 50 gallons still in each wing. The NYS DEC was notified and are on scene.

Mr. Makinen is the owner of the plane, which was insured. Undersheriff McIntosh said investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration will be on scene on Tuesday. After they clear the scene, the aircraft will be transported to a hangar in Watertown for the insurance company to evaluate.

The family spent last evening in Lowville, and obtained a rental car this morning to return home to Quebec.

Undersheriff McIntosh said four officers from the Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, along with Copenhagen Fire, Lewis County Search & Rescue and Director of Lewis County Emergency Management Robert MacKenzie.

Original article can be found here ➤

The various photos below show the plane after it flipped over and the parachute was removed:

We have the names of the people aboard the small plane which needed a parachute to avoid a crash landing in Lewis County.

They're identified as 47 year old Patrice Makinen, who was the pilot, and Julie Charlebois, both of Quebec, Canada.

Sheriff Mike Carpinelli said the couple was flying home to Canada from Georgia with their five month old baby.

The sheriff said the plane experienced engine problems prior to coming down Sunday afternoon at the corner of Willow Grove and Number Three roads just outside Lowville

Carpinelli said Makinen pulled an emergency parachute and called in a distress signal.

"We're gonna go back to the parachute. It was a great option that they obviously purchased when they bought plane, so thank God it was there," said Carpinelli.

The wind caught the parachute and flipped the plane over after the passengers left the scene.

He landed on John O'Brien's owns the land and went down to see what happened.

"The plane was sitting upright. For the most part, there really wasn't any damage to speak of to it," he said.

Makinen, Charlebois and the baby were taken to Lewis County General Hospital, where they were treated and released. Makinen returned to his airplane Monday morning to gather his belongings.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to investigate the incident on Tuesday.

The plane with a parachute is called a Cirrus SR-22 and there's one just like it at the Watertown International Airport. Mike Williams, a flight instructor, showed us how the parachute feature works.

"If the airplane is in peril for any reason whatsoever, one can reach up and grab the handle and just pull it and a big parachute will come out. The straps will rip out the side of this airplane and a parachute will manifest itself and the airplane will settle itself down to the ground," he said.

Williams believes the Cirrus is the safest small engine airplane out there. He says the parachute feature has saved hundreds of lives in engine failures.

"I think it's probably one of the best ones that is built today because of the safety features," he said.

Original article can be found here ➤

LOWVILLE — A small plane carrying a husband, wife and child crashed near the corner of Willow Grove and Number Three roads Sunday afternoon.

“They realized something was wrong with their flight when they came out of a patch of clouds,” said John O’Brien, owner of the land where the plane came down. “My understanding is that the husband pulled for the parachute and cut the engine.”

“My neighbor actually saw it and called us,” he added. “We drove out to it in our tractor.”

The plane was empty when the O’Briens reached it. He learned later that after the plane parachuted to the ground, the three individuals walked to the nearest road.

A passerby driving down Willow Grove Road stopped to help them, he said. Emergency services arrived and though no one was injured, the family was taken to Lewis County General Hospital for evaluation.

Due to strong winds, the parachute, still attached to the plane, turned the wreckage over, Mr. O’Brien said. Lewis County Sheriff Michael P. Carpinelli said that clearing of the site will begin as soon as the Federal Aviation Administration and insurance companies finish with the case.

Sheriff Carpinelli said more information will be forthcoming. 

Original article ➤


Dash Riprock said...

Another get there or else attitude that almost cost his family there lives . Doesn't anyone
check the weather anymore ? Be thankful you had a parachute .

Anonymous said...

Ice is still visible on the leading edges of the wings. I wonder if the aircraft had run out of TKS fluid.

Anonymous said...

Pulling the chute on a perfectly flyable plane...?
Will the insurance pay for this kind of nonsense ("became disoriented coming in and out of the clouds")...?

Anonymous said...

This site is full of stories of fatalities resulting from a PIC who tried to push beyond the boundaries of ability and refused to declare an emergency or otherwise seek help when overwhelmed by the innumerable and relentless challenges that aviation presents. The insurance companies will continue to stay in business, and the aircraft manufacturers will continue to produce vehicles. This PIC and his family will live to see another day, and decide if GA is truly for them. I'm sure this experience will be extremely instructive to them, as I can only imagine what it must've felt like to make the decision to deploy the chute, then the helpless plummeting feeling that followed until the craft landed "miraculously" safe. I doubt it was a decision entered into lightly, nor do I think they'll view this experience as an easy way out. This PIC realized his situation, took responsibility for the souls in his charge, and they survived. Happy landings to all.

Mark Ebben said...

Question: Does the pilot operating handbook give instructions if the chute deployment is successful , and the airplane lands intact as it looked in the early photos, to disengage the chute ? Just saying....salvageable airplane now gone.

Jim B said...

It defies logic to think I will go ahead and fly into bad weather because I have a parachute.

The Cirrus is toast as soon as it hits the ground under the chute. Lots of expensive stuff with the all the wheel struts and wings gets broken.

Has anyone ever heard of a Cirrus being made airworthy again after a chute deployment?

Anonymous said...

My instructor always said if involved in a landing with any damage and certainly what could be considered a crash, leave your gear get away from the plane. It's the insurance company's plane now. Just imagine if the gust came up that flipped the plane while you were working on disengaging the chute. How brilliant it would be to survive the crash only to get killed trying to rescue the plane...

Scott Buchart said...

A good number of Cirrus aircraft have been rebuilt and are flying after utilizing the parachute. That said, who cares when everyone walks away. Aircraft of all types and brands continue to experience the same circumstances, quite often leading to a smoking hole and deaths. At least with the Cirrus, there is one last chance. And that has worked over and over and over again. Glad to see that all survived.