Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cirrus SR22T G6, N288WT: Accident occurred January 27, 2020 near Aspen Pitkin County Airport (KASE), Pitkin County, Colorado

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado
Cirrus; Duluth, Minnesota

Location: Woody Creek, CO
Accident Number: CEN20LA069
Date & Time: 01/27/2020, 1524 MST
Registration: N288WT
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On January 27, 2020, about 1524 mountain standard time, a Cirrus SR22T airplane, N288WT, descended under the canopy of a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) and impacted trees and terrain near Woody Creek, Colorado. The instrument rated private pilot and his passenger were uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to Noel Development LLC and was operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was operated on an activated instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Sardy Field (ASE), near Aspen, Colorado, about 1520 and was destined for the Eagle County Regional Airport, near Eagle, Colorado.

According to initial information from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane's pilot reported an airspeed failure indication. The pilot lost ground contact and requested vectors back to ASE. The pilot later reported that he activated the CAPS chute and subsequently reported that the airplane was on the ground. The airplane's empennage separated from its fuselage during the impact.

At 1453, the recorded weather at ASE was: Wind 350° at 10 kts, gusting to 15 kts; visibility 3 statute miles; present weather haze; sky condition overcast clouds 900 ft; temperature -2° C; dew point -5° C; altimeter 30.02 inches of mercury; remarks snow ended at 1449.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cirrus
Registration: N288WT
Model/Series: SR22 T
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: KASE, 7720 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / 15 knots, 350°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 900 ft agl
Visibility:  3 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Aspen, CO (ASE)
Destination: Eagle, CO (EGE)

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: 39.267222, -106.810278 (est)

By the time Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers made it within a half-mile of a small plane crash Monday evening near Lenado, it was pitch dark, snowing heavily and the wind was blowing hard.

Seven teams of rescuers — 25 people in all — had been breaking trail through waist-deep snow and were coming at the plane’s reported GPS coordinates at about 9,400 feet from different directions, Patrol Capt. Jesse Steindler of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

“At that point, we called the pilot (on his cellphone) and asked him to turn on as many lights (in the plane) as he could,” Steindler said. “It was those lights that attracted the rescuers to the location.”

The Cirrus SR22T G6 had been flying Monday afternoon from Aspen to Eagle County when, the pilot later told authorities, his instruments “went haywire” and indicated the plane’s engine was stalling, Steindler said. The pilot, 50-year-old Tyler Noel of Verona, Wisconsin, later said he didn’t think the plane was actually stalling, though he only had seconds to decide whether to deploy the plane’s parachute, which he did, he said.

The plane — which also was carrying Noel’s 49-year-old wife, Kristina — came down deep in the forest on a heavily wooded, long, steep mountainside, Steindler said.

“I can’t emphasize enough how steep it was,” he said.

The tower at the Aspen-Pitkin County airport notified emergency dispatchers of the crash at 3:25 p.m., which it said was about 5 miles north of Aspen in the Woody Creek area, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. The Noels reported they were uninjured and sheltering inside the plane, though they were not equipped to spend the night in that condition, the release states.

“The rescuers reported that the aircraft was lodged on a very steep slope amidst a forest of pine trees,” according to the release.

The airplane’s parachute was tangled in the trees above the plane and was holding the aircraft in place and keeping it from sliding down the slope, Steindler said.

Rescuers, however, were able to extricate the couple, who were cold and suffering from wet gloves, from the plane without any issues. Mountain Rescue volunteers brought extra clothes, snowshoes, food and water for the Noels, then guided them out of the wilderness starting about 9:15 p.m., Steindler said.

The hike out took about three hours, he said.

“It was very difficult for Mountain Rescue just getting there, then getting back out again,” Steindler said.

A message left Tuesday for the Noels seeking comment was not returned.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.aspentimes.com


  1. Here is the ATC recording

  2. Something wrong the airplane?
    Or too much airplane and not enough pilot?

    Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 12/18/2018


    1. There were two licensed pilots on board, here is the second one who was heard on the radio:

      Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
      Date of Issue: 3/25/2015


    2. Lets not speculate the skills of the pilot based on ATC and ratings. His wife was on board, IMC in mountainous terrain. The chute is there to safe lives, which it did. Airplanes can be replaced, lives cannot.

    3. "the chute is there to safe lives"
      This is lie and a ridiculous exaggeration. The only way that you can say that the chute saves lives is to assume that all alive people would have died without the parachute. Many, many crippled aircraft land safely without parachutes, or crash but their occupants are not killed. So to say that chute is there to save lives is preposterous and untrue.

    4. Hypocrite much?
      Didn't you just *speculate* the chute saved lives.
      How to thank and congratulate the chute if you don't even know the circumstances of the crash.... self-aggrandizing.

      "Lets not speculate the skills of the pilot; the chute is there to safe lives, which it did."

  3. It was just supposed to be a short hop to Eagle from Aspen. Got in trouble doing mountain flying within the first 5 miles on a snowy weather day. Pilot hit the chute when perception confusion took over, would have augered in without one. Cirrus records another save, but according to the pilot, nothing was actually wrong with functionality of the plane.

    Could it be that having the chute re-calibrates decision making, with some pilots more likely to go forth in conditions exceeding skills?

  4. Lost airspeed indicator and pulled the chute?

    I took-off the other day and my automatic pitot tube cover was stuck covering the pitot. Yes I know, I should have done a cross check but I fly a tail-wheel and when the tail comes up my plane will fly. I had to rely on the ground speed from my Sentry and stick and rudder skills to fly the pattern and get it back on the ground. It really wasn't that harrowing.

    I wonder what really happened here? I think this guy may just be incompetent.

    1. High performance airplane in IMC conditions over the mountains climbing out? I commend this pilot for quick thinking and good training regarding use of his parachute equipped airplane. Undoubtedly saved their lives. Why don't you wait to judge him as incompetent until the facts are known.

    2. Reported airspeed indicator problem shortly after taking off and notified tower of need to return. Discussed climb to safe altitude, ATC advised climb to one-six-thousand. Pilot confirmed, later said they had pulled the chute.

      Audio of the flight including after on ground (gaps removed) here:

      Full uncut (with gaps) here:

  5. Maybe insurance fraud what better way to get out of big payment.

    1. Naw, not while transiting mountain terrain with a passenger. Best to do deep water ditch like the California board surfer.

  6. When is the NTSB report expected? This guy flies out of the airport in Wisconsin near my home. I'd like to know what really happened and if it was mountain related or not.

    1. A preliminary report usually takes a couple of weeks. Analysis of why the airspeed indication failed will be in the final. Was it mountain related? They were in the mountains and snow was coming down in the area.

  7. Years ago I took off from an airport in Louisiana on my way to Florida on climbout I noticed that my airpseed indicator had failed, I landed the plane without any trouble.

    1. You would've had plenty of trouble if that same episode had played out in Aspen and not Louisiana.

  8. I certainly don't fault the guy for pulling the chute and getting everyone back on the ground alive. I do think the risk management and decision to fly on this day, however is where this fell apart, and think the person's comment about how high capability aircraft with a "get out of jail free card" like a balistic chute can make a pilot take more chances. That's what I would focus on. Did I really need to fly in IFR/snow in the mountains from Aspen to Eagle? Really????? Glad none of the 25 rescuers were hurt, or started an avalanche, or any number of potential calamities. It's not just your life you risk when you fly.


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