Saturday, August 29, 2020

Cirrus SR22 GTS X G3, N607SR: Fatal accident occurred August 29, 2020 near Lawrenceville-Vincennes International Airport (KLWV), Lawrence County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota
Continental Aerospace Technologies; Mobile, Alabama

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N607SR

Location: Lawrenceville, IL

Accident Number: CEN20LA367
Date & Time: 08/29/2020, 0123 CDT
Registration: N607SR
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22
Injuries:1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 29, 2020, about 0123 central daylight time (CDT), a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N607SR, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Lawrenceville, Illinois. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.


According to preliminary air traffic control data, the airplane departed Peter O Knight Airport, Tampa, Florida, about 2046 eastern daylight time (EDT), and landed at the Sullivan County Airport (SIV), Sullivan, Indiana, about 0126 EDT. At 1411 EDT, the pilot departed SIV on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan after refueling the airplane, en route to Lawrenceville-Vincennes International Airport (LWV), Lawrenceville, Illinois, which was located about 22 nautical miles south.


The airplane departed SIV to the north, turned left (south) toward LWV, and climbed to about 2,600 ft mean sea level. About 0117 CDT, the airplane began a descent toward LWV and the JEBDU waypoint. The controller asked the pilot to verify if he had the weather and NOTAMs at LWV and that he was requesting the RNAV GPS Runway 18 approach. The pilot verified he had the weather and NOTAMs, and the controller cleared the pilot for the approach starting at the JEBDU waypoint. The controller terminated radar service when the airplane was about 13 miles north of LWV and instructed the pilot to cancel the IFR flight plan in the air or on the ground at LWV. There were no further communications from the pilot to air traffic control. Multiple attempts to contact the pilot by air traffic control were unsuccessful, and an alert notice (ALNOT) was issued for the airplane.


According to law enforcement, due to fog conditions, air search and rescue efforts were not initially available until the weather conditions improved. The airplane was located by search and rescue personnel about 0730.


Examination of the accident site by a responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed multiple tree impacts north of the main wreckage. Several sections of wing skin and wing spar debris were located between the tree impacts and the main wreckage. The debris path measured about 250 ft in length on a measured magnetic heading of 180°. The main wreckage came to rest in wooded terrain, and a post impact fire consumed a majority of the fuselage, empennage, and fragmented wing sections. There was no evidence of an in-flight Cirrus Airframe Parachute System deployment.


Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Make: Cirrus

Registration: N607SR
Model/Series: SR22 NO SERIES
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:Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: LWV, 429 ft msl
Observation Time: 0137 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 200 ft agl
Visibility: 0.5 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.74 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Sullivan, IN (SIV)
Destination: Lawrenceville, IL (LWV)

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.789722, -87.605000

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.



 Judge Ryan D. Johanningsmeier
Knox County Superior Court II

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Illinois (WTHI) - We now know when the funeral for a judge killed in a weekend plane crash will happen. 


On Wednesday, the Lawrence County Coroner formally identified the victim as Judge Ryan Johanningsmeier. He was a judge in Knox County.


The crash happened Saturday morning in Lawrence County.


Investigators are still putting together what happened in the crash.


There's a prayer vigil set for Wednesday evening for Johanningsmeier. It is set to happen at 8 pm at the Knox County Superior Court 2.


If you attend, you are encouraged to bring posters, pictures, and flowers to create a memorial.


Johanningsmeier's visitation is set for Thursday, September 3 at Bethel Church in Edwardsport from 4 pm to 8 pm and on Friday from 9 am to 10:30 am.  
His funeral is set for Friday at Bethel Church at 11 am.

Read the full obituary here

The service will also be live-streamed at this link.

The Honorable Judge Ryan Dale Johanningsmeier, 44, of Edwardsport, went home to be with the Lord in the early morning of August 29, 2020.

Ryan’s exceptional life started on September 6, 1975. He was born in Vincennes, to Roger and Chris Johanningsmeier. Farming, family, and 4-H shaped his early life and instilled in him the virtues of hard work, friendship, and compassion. These experiences were the foundation of the man he was to become.


Ryan graduated from North Knox High School in 1994, Purdue University with highest distinction in 1997, and Indiana University Law School with honors in 2000. Upon passing the bar exam, he began his law career in private practice before taking a position with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. He returned home and was elected Judge of Knox County Superior Court II in 2014.


As Judge, his leadership was instrumental in establishing the Knox County Drug Court. True to his passion for helping people, this program offers an alternative to jail for those struggling with addiction and supports them in their life’s recovery. This is one of his greatest and proudest accomplishments in life and leaves a legacy that will be felt forever.


His commitment to the community was evident not only in his work, but in his personal life. He was a great friend to many, going above and beyond to help others. Whether using his legal expertise or his big heart, he provided comfort and support to countless people throughout the region. He was an active member of Bethel Church as a leader of the Church Council and a teacher in Sunday school. He touched countless lives.


Outside of work, Ryan sought adventure whenever possible. When not hunting and fishing, he was traveling the country to hike in National Parks and see the greatness of the natural world. He was also known for hosting great outdoor events on his property, featuring bonfires and fellowship which went long into the night. In recent years, his passion for flying opened up new opportunities making accessible many new adventures. He was always excited to take friends and family all over the country for extended trips, to view the farm fields, or sometimes just for lunch. Flying brought great joy to his life.


Ryan will be remembered for his selflessness, adventurous spirit, and engaging smile. He made an immeasurable impact during his short time on earth and he will be greatly missed.


He is survived by; his parents, Roger and Chris; his twin sister, Kari Johanningsmeier Preston of Carmel, and her children Claire and Grant; his brother, Jeff Johanningsmeier of Fort Wayne, and his wife Kate and their children Hannah and Noah.


Ryan is preceded in death by; paternal grandparents Carl and Marilyn Johanningsmeier, and his maternal grandparents Ray and Ida Bottema.


Visitation will be at Bethel Church, 13673 E. State Road 58, Edwardsport, IN 47528 on Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. and Friday from 9:00 A.M. until 10:30 A.M. Funeral services will be held at Bethel Church on Friday, September 4, 2020 a 11:00 A.M. Guidelines for Covid-19 will be followed while at the church. Social distancing should be maintained, masks are optional upon entry of the church and the family encourages everyone to please attend the visitation and share memories but to try to stay within state guidelines for the funeral service. You may watch the service as it will be livestreamed on the church facebook page.


Arrangements have been entrusted to Fredrick and SonMcClure-Utt Funeral Homes, Vincennes Chapel. Online condolences may be left at www.fredrickandson.com. Memorial Contributions can be made to the Bethel Church 13673 E. State Road 58, Edwardsport, IN 47528 Or the Knox County Drug Court Foundation at the following address:

Knox County Drug Court Foundation

P.O. Box 1843
Vincennes, Indiana 47591

The crash is believed to have taken place about 2 a.m., CDT, in a cluster of trees about 1.5 miles north of the Lawrenceville-Vincennes Municipal Airport.

Judge Ryan Johanningsmeier was piloting the Cirrus SR22 GTS X G3, of which he was co-owner. 


Johanningsmeier, who had been a certified pilot for just over a year, had departed Florida at about 8 p.m. on the night of August 28th. He had traveled to an airport in Sullivan County, Indiana, to refuel, and was to return to Lawrence County, but never made it.


A search for Johanningsmeier Cirrus SR22 GTS X G3 commenced about 6 a.m. on August 29th. The wreckage was discovered shortly thereafter by a Lawrence County pilot as he flew over the area.


The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department was first on the scene, but the Illinois State Police soon took over the operation. At some point on August 29th, Federal Aviation Administration officials arrived to head the investigation.


The Lawrence County Coroner’s office was also at the crash site.


Reports are that Johanningsmeier body was burned beyond recognition, and that dental records would be required to determine positive identification. 


Witnesses say Federal Aviation Administration officials removed Johanningsmeier body from the aircraft about 3 p.m. on August 29th.


Other area pilots speculate that foggy conditions in the area played a part in the crash. 


In addition, the crash occurred at one of the highest points in the area of the airport.


Johanningsmeier had been in communication with the Lawrenceville-Vincennes Airport, but contact was lost. 


By Saturday morning Federal Aviation Administration officials had determined that the lighting at the Lawrence County airport were in proper working order, and that poor lighting did not contribute to the crash.


Specifically, the aircraft went down in the area in northeast Lawrence County where Beaver Creek Ditch and Otter Pond Ditch converge.


The crash location is about a mile north of the intersection of county roads 1650 East (Golleyville Road) and 1450 North (Beaver Pond Lane).


On the morning of August 29th, an area resident mowed a path to near the crash site, so that officials would have access to the area by vehicle.


Johanningsmeier was relatively new to flying, according to other pilots, but was very quick to advance his skills. 


While Johanningsmeier wasn’t a member of the recently-formed Mid-American Pilots Association, based at the Lawrenceville-Vincennes Airport, Johanningsmeier did much of the legal work to help the organization get off the ground.


Johanningsmeier crashed just south of where Vincennes businessman Clarence “Mac” McCormick was killed in a small plane crash on October 26th, 2006. McCormick, 55, was piloting his own airplane from Indianapolis to Lawrence County when the plane went down approximately four miles from the airport.


The Federal Aviation Administration was expected to return to the crash site late on the morning of August 30th, from the Nashville, Tennessee area. 


The plan was to gather the wreckage, and take to a Federal Aviation Administration warehouse in Nashville so that officials could try to determine the cause of the crash.


LAWRENCE COUNTY, Illinois  - A Knox County judge was killed in an early morning plane crash in Lawrence County.

Officials told News 10 Judge Ryan Johanningsmeier was killed in the crash. Johanningsmeier was the pilot, and alone in the plane.


Just before 5:00 Saturday morning, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office received a call about an overdue airplane that should have landed at an airport in Lawrence County.


Johanningsmeier stopped an airport in Sullivan County and fueled up before taking off to the airport in Lawrence County.


The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office started to search for the missing plane.


Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom requested an Indiana State Police helicopter, but because of fog, it couldn't be used.


Around 8:00 am another pilot reported what they believed was wreckage about three-miles north of the Lawrence County airport.


Now, the Federal Aviation Administration, Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, and the Lawrence County Coroner's Office are investigating the crash.


https://www.wthitv.com

An aircraft that departed Sullivan County early Saturday morning reportedly crashed before reaching an airport in Lawrence County, Illinois.

Federal Aviation Administration and Illinois law enforcement are investigating wreckage found three miles north of the Lawrence County Airport, according to a news release from Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom.

According to police Sullivan County Sheriff’s 911 dispatch received a call 4:53 a.m. Saturday in reference to an overdue aircraft that should have landed at the Lawrence County, Illinois airport.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s office had been informed by the Federal Aviation Administration, that the single-engine plane had touched down at the Sullivan County Airport while enroute to the Lawrence County Airport.

Cottom said a description of the plane and the plane’s tail number was given to Sullivan County Deputy Cole Boatright, who then went to the airport and met with airport officials.

After searching the grounds officials determined the pilot had made a brief stop at Sullivan before refueling and departing the airport.

Both Lawrence County Sheriff’s officials and Sullivan County Sheriff’s officials conducted a ground search between the two airports, Cottom said.

Cottom summoned the Indiana State Police, requesting a helicopter to search the area. But the ISP helicopter was unable to depart due to fog in the area, police said.

Shortly after 8 a.m. a local pilot reported what appeared to be wreckage approximately 3 miles north of the Lawrence County airport.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence County Coroner's Office and the Federal Aviation Administration are working an investigation at that site.

https://www.tribstar.com

37 comments:

  1. Flightaware data shows the night flight descending into KLWV at 2:20 AM CDT, GMT = 07:20. METARs at 0653GMT and 0753GMT show fog, obscured sky, 0.50 statute mile visibility, indefinite ceiling with vertical visibility of 200 feet AGL, dewpoint same as ambient temp.

    KLWV 290653Z AUTO 24003KT 1/2SM FG VV002 22/22 A2973 RMK AO2 SLP062
    KLWV 290753Z AUTO 26004KT 1/2SM FG VV002 22/22 A2972 RMK AO2 SLP060

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N607SR/history/20200829/0605Z/KSIV/KLWV

    Map of last ADS-B point from FlightAware:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:38.8031+-87.6047

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ^^^^ Correction needed for time and METARS above

      The original entry above chose the wrong hour for descent into KLWV. The METARS listed are after the crash. The fog, low ceiling and .5 mile vis reporting came into effect after the pilot and controller verified that he had the weather.

      Other than ambient temp and dewpoint being equal and fog development likely, the pilot was not seeing a weather problem from KSIV.

      The METAR at 0100 CDT (0600Z) before takeoff from KSIV was:
      KLWV 290600Z AUTO 29002KT 6SM BR FEW002 BKN011 22/22 A2973

      Things began to change around the time of the 0611Z takeoff:
      KLWV 290610Z AUTO 29004KT 1 1/2SM BR BKN002 BKN011 22/22 A2973
      KLWV 290615Z AUTO 27002KT 1SM BR BKN002 22/22 A2972
      KLWV 290620Z AUTO 00000KT 1 1/2SM BR BKN002 22/22 A2972
      KLWV 290625Z AUTO 26002KT 1 1/2SM BR OVC002 22/22 A2972
      KLWV 290630Z AUTO 24002KT 1SM BR VV002 22/22 A2972
      KLWV 290635Z AUTO 23002KT 1SM BR VV002 22/22 A2972
      KLWV 290637Z AUTO 00000KT 1/2SM FG VV002 22/22 A2973

      Credit: A comment on Sept 7, 7:04 PM EDT included an analysis of the weather data at dropbox and pointed out the change going on as the accident pilot flew that last leg. The commenter linked data from the ASOS archive at:
      https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/request/download.phtml?network=IL_ASOS

      Delete
  2. This happened within 10 or so nm from my house. Odd that he was apparently coming from Florida, flew past KLWV to KSIV and bought fuel, then headed back to KLWV. Looks like visibility was pretty terrible at the time.

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    1. Not so odd. KLWV fuel price is $4.80/gallon. KSIV fuel price is $3.62/gal (in ForeFlight). The report says he fuled up. That brings an interesting twist to the situation. Did he have fuel contamination? Wrong fuel? Not switch to the full tank before takeoff?

      or

      If he wasn't instrumented rated and current that's an issue. If he checked the METAR and flew into 1/2 mile, Fog VV002, which means indefinite ceiling with vertical visibility to 200' aka LIFR. I don't know what his qualifications are but LIFR isn't to be messed with

      or both were against him

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    2. Indeed!
      Weather (visibility) was actually below minimum required for the LPV APP (3/4SM)

      https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/2009/00229R18.PDF

      Previous poor decision making on this flight culminates in an illegal approach below wx minima.

      Delete
    3. Yeah...RNAV 18 is 200-3/4. I'm assuming he was trying that based based on where the aircraft was found. He definitely wasn't shooting a visual approach (at 2am, get-home-itus?). It's possible that he had an instrument rating but it doesn't sound like it: "Johanningsmeier, who had been a certified pilot for just over a year". I wonder where he was with his training.

      Delete
    4. Rusty Pilot... I see what you mean about the fuel prices. Definitely makes sense. I didn't consider that.

      Delete
  3. If he was on an instrument approach, a search wouldn't have commenced around 6 AM from an approach made nearly 4 hours earlier. When he didn't turn up on the missed approach and no cancellation was received, the FAA would have initiated a ramp search, etc., soon after. I'm afraid this looks very much like a standard VFR flight continued into IMC, and IMC that was even below approach minimums IFR.

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  4. From the FAA registry:

    Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 12/21/2019

    Ratings:
    PRIVATE PILOT
    AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE LAND
    INSTRUMENT AIRPLANE

    Limits:
    ENGLISH PROFICIENT.

    So, looks like he was instrument rated.

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  5. Very sad. Condolences to his family and loved ones

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  6. The night before flying to Florida, he made a night practice run & apparent KSIV fuel fill, as commented by Rusty. It is the only KLWV night landing in the FlightAware logs looking back to 17 August.

    To KSIV 27 Aug: GPS/Alt track shows two T&G's at KMTO @ 8:38 and 8:56 pm:
    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N607SR/history/20200827/0011Z/KLWV/KSIV

    Coming back to KLWV from KSIV fuel-up 27 Aug as prep for Florida:
    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N607SR/history/20200827/0148Z/KSIV/KLWV

    The Florida trip got him into Tampa @ 10:32 pm (EDT) Thursday night. The return trip started at 8:46 pm Friday night, fuel fill at KSIV @ 12:27 am (CDT) Saturday morning, then the unfortunate flight into IMC at 1:23 am.

    He had a busy couple of days, made several night landings okay. A phone call for a car ride from KSIV after looking at those METARS is all he lacked to get home safely. He had to be at least a little bit fatigued. A lesson for us all.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My deepest condolences to his family.

      I should have made this post first. I think we get desensitized to (disconnected from?) the reality of the situation when it's just text and pictures on a web page...

      This: "If he was on an instrument approach, a search wouldn't have commenced around 6 AM from an approach made nearly 4 hours earlier."

      The fuel fill I mentioned was in response to the person that wondered why he would fly past his destination, land at another airport, then go back to his destination. Fuel cost.

      "He had a busy couple of days, made several night landings okay. A phone call for a car ride from KSIV after looking at those METARS is all he lacked to get home safely. He had to be at least a little bit fatigued. A lesson for us all."

      Lesson... that's the only reason I read these things. There's something to be learned here. Something that will hopefully nag me when I'm faced with a situation like this...

      Delete
  7. Did anyone hear or see anything around the time of the crash?

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  8. why continue on at that late hour..spend the night?? someplace..

    ReplyDelete
  9. My heart goes out to his family. I work as one of the line service guys up at the Terre Haute Regional Airport and the weekend before the crash, he stopped in Terre Haute before heading down to Florida. I marshaled the aircraft on the ramp and when he got out of the plane, we had a 5-10 min conversation about how nice his plane was. He mentioned that he just bought it and was impressed with its capabilities. It is worth noting that he was a frequent visitor of the airport but it was my first time seeing him with the Cirrus.

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  10. Of note, the aircraft had just been fitted with a new Avidyne flight system during the trip to Florida. There does not appear to be any evidence of significant instruction or familiarization with the avionics suite prior to his return trip to his home airport. Certainly might be a consideration that unfamiliarity with the avionics might have been a contributing factor especially since the weather was very bad. Of note it would appear based on flight tracker data that the autopilot was likely not engaged and he was most likely hand flying the airplane on approach.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder what he got his instrument rating in and if it had round gauges (my preference, for now) or glass? C172 or something higher higher performance? No matter... the minimums were too low...

      Delete
    2. :/ I need proofread... higher performance. Weather was too low for that approach.

      Delete
    3. You would expect a guy who was soon to buy a Cirrus to have done some of his training in a Cirrus. The comment from the Terre Haute ramp conversation leaves you wondering: "He mentioned that he just bought it and was impressed with its capabilities."

      Delete
  11. He did get trained!!! Every previous aircraft he own he got trained on.

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    Replies
    1. The question being discussed was what he trained on, round gauges or glass. Nobody said he was not trained.

      What were those previous aircraft that he owned?

      Delete
    2. I guess he didn't get trained enough! WHY as a low time pilot is he flying at night in FOG?? Don't tell me he was trained. Where you his flight instructor? You didn't tell him not to fly in the fog? at night? smh

      Delete
  12. I'm guessing he was letting Otto pilot fly a coupled approach and his altimeter was not set correctly. I don't have to tell you 200' is a slim margin for error.

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    Replies
    1. Does seem like a good guess. Preliminary report description of tree contact over a distance aligned on runway heading fits the altitude error on autopilot approach scenario.

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    2. An LPV approach uses GPS derived altitude data to define the vertical profile, therefore, an incorrect altimeter setting would not fly you into the ground. You may reach the DA earlier or later on the approach though.

      Delete
  13. It's really sad that a forty minute car ride could have saved his life.

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  14. as side note, out in the middle of mostly fields, Lawrenceville–Vincennes International Airport (IATA: LWV "Established in 1942 by the United States Army Air Forces. Known as George Army Airfield. Assigned to the Eastern Flying Training Command on August 10. Conducted Advanced two-engine flying training until transferred to I Troop Carrier Command on August 15, 1944. Placed in standby status September 1, 1944 with the drawdown of AAFTC's pilot training program. Declared surplus and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers on September 30, 1945. Eventually discharged to the War Assets Administration (WAA) and became civil airport."

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  15. Okay, I was reviewing accidents for the past month as a learning exercise and came across this one that I wanted to focus in on, given I fly this type of plane and am probably not much more advanced than what this guy was, so always eager to learn from these tragedies. In case useful (and always interested in comments/thoughts from others on this kind of "sleuthing"), here is my write up:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/o0wufzk18pufg6j/analysis%20of%20n607sr%20accident.pdf?dl=0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A review of your analysis and look at the linked archive weather shows that you are correct that the low ceiling, fog and low vis were not in the data when he took off from KSIV.

      A correction has been made to the first entry in this comment thread. The archive resource is handy when it covers the locations of interest.

      Good sleuthing!

      Delete
  16. So the pilot was"...impressed with it's capabilities..." Yep, but no matter what you put in the dash it's still not an airline operation. I fly a SE turboprop and even after 34 years of flying in 100+ different types I recognize there's a risk/reward continuum. I've spent many nights on an uncomfortable airport terminal couch.
    Another too-bold pilot who will never be an old pilot. At least he was alone...
    and didn't take anyone with him...

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  17. Not that I know anything about this individual in particular, but as a CFI there are people that I will not train to IFR...hard IFR conditions is not a place to be a dabbler, a hobbyist, an infrequent flier...there's a commitment I want to see to aviation and to maintaining a skill set before I think they should be heading in that direction. Many professionals I've encountered are simply too busy and overbooked to dedicate themselves to the art to the degree necessary to achieve safety. And...most have them have excelled at many things in life, so this should be no problem, right? And it is...Until it isn't...

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  18. Well, not sure any of us has all of the details on the decision making of the pilot and what actually happened. If you look at the archived ASOS for LWV you will see that prior to his departure from SIV, the conditions being reported were actually better (BNK 1100 and 7sm visibility) than what he had just landed in at SIV (BNK 0800 and 7sm visibility). These were likely the airports he knew best.

    The altimeter settings between SIV and LWV were effectively the same (29.72 vs. 29.73), so almost certainly the sea level pressure setting was correctly set. If you examine the ASOS after he departed SIV you will see the weather quickly changed with fog rolling in.

    If you look at the flightradar24 path he was set up nearly perfectly for the rnav18 approach (at least on flightradar the trajectory is slightly offset, but otherwise the approach was spot on), he was at the right altitude according to flight radar passing over jebdu, past jebdu was on the exact right heading and appearing to descend normally.

    Who knows why he was only 250ft AGL at the last flightradar reading, at a point where he should have been 500ft AGL. Did he have autopilot engaged and riding it down to the minimums and something was not functioning correctly? Did he get a visual on the field and then switched to visual and then encountered fog he could not see until he was in it and became disoriented for long enough to descend an extra couple hundred feet at the exact wrong time? Did he have some kind of medical emergency that caused him to descend into the ground?

    I can think of lots of possibilities that would not necessarily justify the level of blame many are wanting to place on this guy. He is not here to defend himself. Maybe he was a night guy and was at his best at this time in the early morning. He likely got the weather before departing and saw that the conditions were better than what he landed in. Perhaps the weather changed after he acquired the weather to indicate to ATC what approach he wanted. Perhaps the altimeter used for autopilot on the approach to descend was not appropriately calibrated (a lesson to cross check those settings with the backup instruments). If it were me I would under those conditions have autopilot engaged down to minimums and then go missed if I did not see the appropriate indicates at the DA, but if the equipment was faulty and drove me into the ground, well, I'm not sure we would heap a lot of blame on the pilot in such a situation.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Most comments were made prior to the archive ASOS data being presented by the analysis in dropbox. The METARS in the first comment were mistaken picks due to errors in time conversion - see correction.

      Delete
  19. I thought Cirrus had that wings level button when you got in trouble ?

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    1. I don't think he knew he was in trouble until he impacted trees. He was an instrumented pilot on an RNAV approach and it appears that he was lower than he should of been, mostly because he hit trees.

      Delete
    2. The reported long debris path is not consistent with a stall or spin, so it is very likely that he was wings level as he got too low.

      Go back and read madmax's comment on the circumstances and possible causes.

      Delete