Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Cirrus SR22, N579CP; accident occurred November 21, 2018 in Sand Creek, Dunn County, Wisconsin

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Sand Creek, Wisconsin
Accident Number: GAA19CA074
Date & Time: November 21, 2018, 10:45 Local
Registration: N579CP
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Ferry


The pilot reported that, during a ferry flight, while climbing the airplane to cruise altitude, the engine temperatures increased quickly and that the engine then surged. The pilot added that he "switched" the boost pump, adjusted the mixture lever, and then deployed the ballistic parachute system at 3,500 ft mean sea level. During the off-airport landing in a field, the airplane impacted an irrigation sprinkler system.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that two air lines were disconnected and that there were no torque lines on the lines. According to the FAA inspector, the pilot and a mechanic who had conducted the airplane's last maintenance reported that the airplane had been flown 7 hours since the last maintenance. The mechanic had replaced three cylinders during the maintenance, which required removal of the air lines. It is likely that, during the maintenance, the mechanic did not properly secure the air reference line, which led to a loss of engine power.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The mechanic's failure to properly secure the air reference line, which resulted in a loss of engine power. 


Aircraft (general) - Incorrect service/maintenance
Aircraft Fuel press sensor - Incorrect service/maintenance
Personnel issues (general) - Maintenance personnel
Personnel issues Post maintenance inspection - Pilot
Personnel issues Preflight inspection - Pilot
Environmental issues (general) - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute Miscellaneous/other
Enroute Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Landing Miscellaneous/other
Landing Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 49,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 29, 2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 4, 2018
Flight Time: (Estimated) 4200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3500 hours (Total, this make and model), 4000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 110 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cirrus
Registration: N579CP
Model/Series: SR22 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3291
Landing Gear Type:
Tricycle Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: November 14, 2018 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1425 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: TCM
ELT: Installed 
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-N-51B
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 310 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRPD,1105 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:35 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 345°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 9500 ft AGL
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 50° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.37 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: -7°C / -12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Cumberland, WI (UBE ) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Akron, OH (CAK ) 
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 10:30 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A Aircraft
Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.204723,-91.691665(est)

None were injured when a plane crashed Wednesday in the town of Sand Creek, according to Dunn County authorities.

A report at 11:05 a.m. stated that a Cirrus plane had gone down in a harvested cornfield southeast of 1450th Avenue and County Road I, according to a press release from Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith.

Shortly after, the pilot reportedly arrived, uninjured, at the Sand Creek Fire Department, Smith said.

The pilot, of Duluth, Minn., who law enforcement did not identify, was the only passenger in the plane at the time. He had been flying from Cumberland, Wis., to Akron, Ohio, when the plane experienced mechanical problems. An airframe parachute -- a safety measure meant to control the descent of a plane and protect its passengers, according to Cirrus Aircraft -- was deployed. 

The plane went down and struck an irrigator, Smith said.

Dunn County deputies, the Sand Creek Fire Department, the Colfax Ambulance and a Federal Aviation Administration investigator responded to the scene.

The FAA investigator investigated the accident, Smith said.

Dunn County Sheriff's Office


DATE OF RELEASE:​ November 21, 2018

INCIDENT #:​18-12043

SUBJECT:​ Airplane Crash



On Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at 11:05 AM the Dunn County E-911 Center received a report of a Cirrus aircraft that had gone in the Township of Sand Creek.

Dunn County Deputies, Sand Creek Fire and Colfax Ambulance were dispatched to the area.

A short time later the pilot was reported to have arrived at the Sand Creek Fire Department. 

The pilot was the only occupant of the aircraft and was not injured.

The aircraft was located in a harvested cornfield southeast of 1450th Ave and Cty Rd I. 

The airplane struck an irrigator.

The pilot was from Duluth, Minnesota. He was flying from Cumberland, Wisconsin to Akron, Ohio when the aircraft experienced mechanical issues. An airframe parachute was deployed and the aircraft went down in the field.

An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration was responding to the scene to further investigate the incident.

Sheriff Dennis Smith

Dunn County (WQOW) – A pilot is thankfully OK after crashing an airplane in the Township of Sand Creek Wednesday morning.

According to the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, they received a report of a Cirrus aircraft that had gone down.

A short time later, the pilot showed up at the Sand Creek Fire Department. The pilot was the only person in the plane and was not hurt.

The plane was found in a harvested cornfield near Highway I, just north of Myron Park. The plane hit an irrigator.

The pilot from Duluth, was flying from Cumberland to Akron Ohio when the plane had mechanical issues. An airframe parachute was deployed and the plane went down in the field.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. I dunno. I realize there is a need--occasionally--for the chute, but those two wings there, along with your skills at handling the aircraft during forced landings, should not go to waste because of that last ditch alternative.

  2. Davey - Your point is that you shouldn't 'waste' your skills and should instead try to execute a forced landing?

    When used within design parameters, the chute has an incredible record. It has saved 165 lives.

    Your comment is offensive and ignorant. The pilot flying this aircraft was a former factory pilot who shares time between training pilots on how to fly this type and ferrying Cirrus aircraft. He is one of the most qualified instructors out there. His options were to try and land a low wing, high performance aircraft into a random corn field in the middle of nowhere or pull the chute. If your life was on the line, I'd imagine you'd do the same.

    Read through reports on this site - compare the outcomes of forced landings.

    This pilot went home to see his family thanks to the chute. That outcome would be a lot less likely had he decided to not 'waste his skills' and attempt a ditch.

    For some reason, pilots were cynical about CAPS and used it as some excuse to sound macho and ridicule those who invested in it or exercised it as an option. Thankfully people are starting to realize that the logic is ridiculous and that this is saving lives.

    I hope you aren't a CFI. Please don't tell other pilots to ignore technology or tools that will save their lives and potentially other lives on the ground.

  3. No emer training required - just pull here. See, that easy.

  4. This is like when people with too much money say, "Hold my beer".

  5. Any landing you can walk away from was a good landing!