Friday, August 23, 2019

Cirrus SR22 GTS TC, N404PE: Accident occurred August 22, 2019 in Burnsville, Yancey County, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Burnsville, NC
Accident Number: ERA19LA257
Date & Time: 08/22/2019, 1654 UTC
Registration: N404PE
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 22, 2019, about 1254 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N404PE, was substantially damaged following an encounter with weather and deployment of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) near Burnsville, North Carolina. The commercial pilot and the student pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The airplane departed Donaldson Field Airport (GYH), Greenville, South Carolina at 1216, with an intended destination of Medina Municipal Airport (1G5), Medina, Ohio.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he completed a flight from 1G5 to GYH earlier in the day. He serviced the airplane with fuel, reviewed the weather, and "confirmed there were no changes from the morning briefing" that he had obtained from Leidos flight service prior to departure from 1G5.

The airplane was initially cleared to 10,000 ft and later the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) controller cleared the airplane to 15,000 ft and ultimately to 17,000 ft at the pilot's request. The pilot noted both visually and on his NEXRAD radar display that "thunderstorms were building with cumulonimbus clouds along the route of flight." The controller advised a 30°e left turn when the clearance to 17,000 ft was issued, and the pilot "believed" the new course and altitude would place the airplane "on top of the build-up" and "between the two cells."

As the airplane approached the "developing weather system" the NEXRAD display showed the airplane's path "between" the two cells and that the airplane would penetrate clouds that "did not appear dangerous." Upon entry into the clouds, the airplane encountered "very strong" turbulence. At that time, the pilot disabled the autopilot and took control of the airplane and leveled the wings "with a climbing attitude." The airplane was below the clouds, and the pilot could see the airplane was "heading for a mountain (Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, 6,684 ft elevation)."

The pilot initiated a climb to "avoid the mountain" when the engine stopped producing power. The pilot then decided there was not sufficient time to attempt remedial actions and chose instead to deploy the CAPS system.

Preliminary radar and voice communication data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that after the airplane levelled at 17,000 ft, the controller asked, "What would you like to do for the weather?" The controller informed the pilot that the 30° left turn directed earlier had been for traffic conflict resolution. The pilot replied, "Looks like this heading will work for a while."

About 7 minutes later, the pilot announced, "four papa echo has pulled the chute." The controller replied, "you have lost your engine?" and the airplane responded, "engine is lost, had a situation through the weather there, lost control, engine is gone." There were no further communications with the airplane.

In a telephone interview with an FAA aviation safety inspector, the student pilot-rated passenger, who was seated in the left seat, stated he and the pilot had been "making that trip for 4.5 years." He said that when the airplane penetrated the clouds the flight became "rough" and the airplane "stalled because of the weather." The passenger stated that the airplane was in a spin when it descended below the base of the clouds, and the pilot then deployed the CAPS.

The airplane came to rest in trees on Mount Mitchell.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine and instrument airplane. He was issued a second-class medical certificate on March 13, 2019. The pilot reported 5,343 total hours of flight experience, of which 1,907 were in the accident airplane make and model.

The student pilot-rated passenger was issued his student pilot and third-class medical certificate on November 5, 2004. He reported 15 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing, fixed-gear airplane was manufactured in 2007, and equipped with a Continental IO-550-N1B, 315-horsepower reciprocating engine. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on June 28, 2019, at 3,187 total aircraft hours.

At 1642, the weather reported at Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), Asheville, North Carolina, located 28 miles south of the accident site, included a broken ceiling at 6,000 ft, wind from 340° at 9 knots, and 10 miles visibility. The temperature was 28 degrees C, the dew point was 18 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.13 inches of mercury.

Review of weather data revealed that Convective SIGMET 46E with thunderstorms, AIRMET Sierra for IFR conditions, and AIRMET Zulu for icing above 12,000 – 14,000 ft were in effect along the airplane's route of flight.

The pilot reported that "Convective SIGMETs were received for route of flight."

The wreckage was recovered from the accident site by helicopter and retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cirrus
Registration: N404PE
Model/Series: SR22 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KAVL, 2165 ft msl
Observation Time: 1642 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 340°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Greenville, SC (GYH)
Destination: Medina, OH (1G5)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.745278, -82.288333

BURNSVILLE, North Carolina -  Federal officials have located a crashed plane in the mountains of Western North Carolina on Thursday, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials.

According to an Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, the Cirrus SR22t was found on a ridge on Mount Mitchell and its parachute helped it crash-land.

The two people on board were shaken but walking around after the crash and one of them was taken to the hospital to be checked out, according to Yancey County emergency officials.

The crash site was about half a mile off Mount Mitchell State Park property on the west side of the Black Mountain Range, emergency officials said. Had the plane come down just a foot or two over from where it landed, the situation could have had a very different ending, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert notice about the aircraft after a pilot reported weather-related problems. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight shortly before 1 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane departed from the Donaldson Center Airport in Greenville, South Carolina, and it was headed to the Medina Municipal Airport in Ohio.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, local officials will release the names of the people on board.

Original article can be found here ➤

YANCEY COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) - Two men are recovering after surviving a plane crash Thursday afternoon near Mount Mitchell State Park.

Authorities say the Cirrus SR22 went down less than a mile away from the ranger station.

News 13 was on the scene as the pilot and passenger arrived back at the Mount Mitchell Ranger Station, where they were treated for minor injuries. One of the men was taken to the hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the pilot reported weather-related problems and air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight shortly before 1 p.m.

Officials say park rangers heard an explosion and watched the plane parachute to the ground.

The Yancey County sheriff says the plane was found around 2:30 p.m. and the two passengers were helped away from the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane took off from Donaldson Center Airport in Greenville, South Carolina, and was heading for Medina Municipal Airport in Ohio.

South Toe Fire, Yancy County Sheriff, Mt. Mitchell State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Yancey County Emergency, Garren Creek Fire have all responded to the scene.

The sheriff said there are no reports of a fire, and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified of the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Whoa, watch your step there on the way out! I'm so glad he pulled the chute and they're both ok.

  2. As a future Cirrus owner I am glad the chute gradually shows its usefulness. Regardless of skills a loss of engine power in the clouds is a terrible situation in the best of cases and a lethal end result if not for this awesome protection..

  3. Properly used the chute is a phenomenal device. Literally a life saver. Everyone a little rattled and shaken up. Otherwise everyone A-OK. Go back home to their families. No heartbreak. No widows. No orphans. A terrific outcome.

  4. Wouldn't it be better to not fly through convective weather? Why praise the chute when this could've been prevented by avoiding the weather. Climbing to 17K ft to avoid a thunderstorm is a bad decision in this kind of plane.