Saturday, November 3, 2018

Cirrus SR20, N614CD: Accident occurred December 16, 2015 in Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland
Cirrus Design Corp; Duluth, Minnesota

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N614CD 



Location: Charles Town, WV
Accident Number: ERA16LA070
Date & Time: 12/16/2015, 0935 EST
Registration: N614CD
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On December 16, 2015, at 0935 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR20, N614CD, was substantially damaged during impact with terrain, after deployment of the Cirrus Airplane Parachute System (CAPS), following a loss of control near Charles Town, West Virginia. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight that departed Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO), Leesburg, Virginia, about 0915, destined for Winchester Regional Airport (OKV), Winchester, Virginia. The airplane was operated by Atlantic Airways under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the flight instructor, the training flight was planned to include slow flight, stalls, simulated engine failure, and landings. The student pilot was at the controls for the duration of the flight. The takeoff and climb out were normal, and after climbing to a suitable altitude they practiced slow flight before transitioning to a power-off stall exercise. They began the exercise with a descent and increased airspeed to 75 knots, and upon reaching about 3,800 feet msl the student pilot reduced the power to idle, and began to pitch the nose up. Just after the airplane stalled, the student pilot began the recovery. As the airplane pitched downward, it also rolled to the right. The instructor felt the student pilot input left rudder (the flight instructor had his feet on the rudder pedals in order to monitor the student pilot's inputs) which initially reduced the roll, but then the airplane again rolled to the right and entered a spin. After about two rotations, the instructor activated the CAPS. The flight instructor reported at total flight experience of 1,747 hours; of which, 131 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The student pilot reported that he had not flown for about 2 months and the lesson plan for the day was to practice maneuvers, followed by takeoffs and landings. He first practiced slow flight with flaps fully extended and the stall horn sounding. He then performed a power-off stall by slowly elevating the nose until the airplane stalled. The airplane banked to the right and the student pilot let go of the stick while applying full left rudder. The airplane then rolled over to the right and began to spin nose down. The student pilot added that he had practiced turning stalls on at least two previous occasions in a Cessna 172 and that airplane was easily returned to straight and level flight by applying opposite rudder, full power and neutralizing the ailerons. The Cirrus began to spin so quickly that it seemed like something broke. The student pilot reported a total flight experience of 81 hours; of which, 19 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The student pilot had flown 1 hour during the 90-day period preceding the accident.

The airplane descended under canopy into a wooded area and came to rest in an approximate 30 degrees nose down and 45 degrees left wing down attitude.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage to the right wing leading edge, the nose landing gear, and the right elevator. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the control surfaces. The flap control was found in the 50% indicated position, and the flaps were partially deployed. The parachute remained attached to the airplane through its harness, and the canopy remained in the trees. Further examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector and representative from the airplane manufacturer did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions with aileron and roll trim control, elevator and pitch trim control, or rudder and rudder-aileron interconnect. The roll trim motor was in an approximate neutral roll trim position. The pitch trim motor was in a slight nose-up pitch trim position. The rudder-aileron interconnect bungie was positioned evenly in the rudder-aileron interconnect arm bungie clamp and evenly spaced between the two cable clamps near the swage of the cable terminal on each end of the right aileron cable turnbuckle.

Prior to the accident flight, the airplane was last flown on December 12, 2015, by the chief flight instructor for the operator. He reported that the previous flight was an instructional flight that included both power-on and power-off stalls. The chief flight instructor added that he did not notice anything unusual about the airplane or its handling characteristics during that flight.

The primary flight display, autopilot computer, and a memory card from the multifunction display were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for data recovery. The data was plotted and also used for an animation of the stall preceding the spin. Review of the plots and animation revealed that there was right yaw prior to the stall. 



Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 47, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/02/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1747 hours (Total, all aircraft), 131 hours (Total, this make and model), 1634 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 44 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 23 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   81 hours (Total, all aircraft), 19 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP
Registration: N614CD
Model/Series: SR20
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1473
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/01/2015, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 60 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1745 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360
Registered Owner: THUNDERBOLT AVIATION LLC
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: Atlantic Airways
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KJYO, 389 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0935 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 121°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2700 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 80°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LEESBURG, VA (JYO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: WINCHESTER, VA (OKV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0915 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.238889, -77.906389

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA070 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 16, 2015 in Charles Town, WV
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N614CD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 16, 2015, at 0935 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR20, N614CD, was substantially damaged during impact with terrain, after deployment of the Cirrus Airplane Parachute System (CAPS), following a loss of control near Charles Town, West Virginia. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight that departed Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO), Leesburg, Virginia, about 0915, destined for Winchester Regional Airport (OKV), Winchester, Virginia. The airplane was operated by Atlantic Airways under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the flight instructor, the training flight was planned to include slow flight, stalls, simulated engine failure, and landings. The student pilot was at the controls for the duration of the flight. The takeoff and climb out were normal, and after climbing to a suitable altitude they practiced slow flight before transitioning to a power off stall exercise. They began the exercise with a descent and increased airspeed to 75 knots, and upon reaching about 3800 feet msl the student reduced the power to idle, and began to pitch the nose up. Just after the airplane stalled, the student began the recovery. As the airplane pitched downward, it also rolled to the right. The instructor felt the student input left rudder (the flight instructor had his feet on the rudder pedals in order to monitor the student's inputs) which initially reduced the roll, but then the airplane again rolled to the right and entered a spin. After about two rotations, the instructor activated the CAPS.

The airplane descended under canopy into a wooded area and came to rest in an approximate 30 degrees nose down and 45 degrees left wing down attitude.

Examination of the wreckage revealed substantial damage to the right wing leading edge, the nose landing gear, and the right elevator. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the control surfaces. The flap control was found in the 50% indicated position, and the flaps were partially deployed. The parachute remained attached to the airplane through its harness, and the canopy remained in the trees.

The airplane was retained by the NTSB for further examination. The primary flight display, the autopilot computer, and a memory card from the multi-function display were sent to the NTSB laboratory for data recovery.

4 comments:

daveyl123 said...

It seems this plane parachute scheme is working out, but the Law of Unintended Consequences has also been applied. Why can't a certified flight instructor extract a plane from a spin? I can see a flat spin being difficult to recover from, but you should be able to do just that. Pilots counting on this last resort may be reacting to recoverable flight conditions too quickly with this system.

Anonymous said...

Most certified airplanes can recover from a spin. At Cirrus, they lobbied for a chute instead.

daveyl123 said...

Even if a plane is placarded against intentional spins, they were certified with recovery procedures for unintentional spins. The FAA wouldn't allow an aircraft to enter the market as a Normal Category designated plane without spin recovery capabilities using the flight controls.

Anonymous said...

The Cirrus POH clearly warns that the aircraft is not certified for spins and the ONLY approved recovery is pulling the chute. The FAA waived this requirement and accepted the airframe parachute as an alternate means of compliance. The info is out there.