Saturday, December 07, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Cirrus SR22, N161DL; accident occurred September 16, 2018 at Montauk Airport (KMTP), Suffolk County, New York

View of Airplane as Found.
Federal Aviation Administration

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota
Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Montauk, NY
Accident Number: ERA18LA253
Date & Time: 09/16/2018, 1606 EDT
Registration: N161DL
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

View of Damage to Left Wing.

Federal Aviation Administration

On September 16, 2018, at 1606 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N161DL, was substantially damaged during collision with trees and terrain during takeoff from Montauk Airport (MTP), Montauk, New York. The pilot was not injured, and a passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot provided a written statement and was interviewed by telephone. He said he completed the preflight inspection, engine run-up, and before-takeoff checks with no anomalies noted, and then positioned the airplane for takeoff from runway 24. The pilot advanced the throttle and tracked the runway centerline during the takeoff roll.

At rotation, the pilot's seat "abruptly slid backwards to the outermost distance from the controls." The pilot said that he could no longer reach the pedals to maintain directional control, and that aileron input was inadequate to counteract the airplane's left-turning tendency. The airplane departed the left side of the runway, struck trees and shrubs, and came to rest upright. According to the pilot, except for the pilot seat, the airplane performed as designed with no other anomalies noted.

The pilot stated that he had adjusted his seat prior to the flight "as normal" and had never had difficulty with the seat at any time in the past. He added that this was the third Cirrus SR22 that he had owned and had no history of seat issues with either of his previous two airplanes.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued January 4, 2018. He reported 750 total hours of flight experience, all of which was in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2014. Its most recent annual inspection was completed October 15, 2017 at 187.9 total aircraft hours.

At 1654, the weather recorded at MTP included clear skies and variable winds at 4 knots. The temperature was 24°C, and the dew point was 19°C. The altimeter setting was 30.21 inches of mercury.

Examination of photographs revealed that the wings, fuselage, and empennage all sustained substantial impact damage. An FAA inspector who responded to the site said he could not enter the cockpit, as the door was either locked or impinged by impact damage.

Examination of the pilot's seat was performed by a manufacturer's representative under the supervision of an NTSB air safety investigator, and cabin safety specialist.

The examination revealed no anomalies with the installation, dimensions, or operation of the pilot's seat. The seat moved freely fore and aft, with no binding or anomalous operation noted. While seated in the pilot's seat, the manufacturer's representative applied fore, aft, and twisting forces to the seat to "unlock" the seat from a locked position. When "twisted to right while being slid forward" partial seat position locking pin engagement could be induced, but not all pins would seat and the control handle would not be fully down, and neither could it be forced into position. Straightening or forward movement of the seat resulted in full pin engagement with the control handle in the fully-down position.

According to the Pilot Operating Handbook and the placard on the center console, "CREW SEATS MUST BE LOCKED IN POSITION AND CONTROL HANDLES FULLY DOWN BEFORE FLIGHT"

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/04/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 750 hours (Total, all aircraft), 750 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cirrus
Registration: N161DL
Model/Series: SR22 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Amateur Built:No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number:4128
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/15/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 248 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-N
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMTP, 7 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2054 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Montauk, NY (MTP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: East Hampton, NY (HTO)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: MONTAUK (MTP)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 6 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 24
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3246 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.076667, -71.920556 (est)

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