Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet, N1GG: Accident occurred August 24, 2021 at Capital Region International Airport (KLAN), Lansing, Clinton County, Michigan

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Grand Rapids, Michigan
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota 


Location: Lansing, MI 
Accident Number: CEN21LA384
Date & Time: August 24, 2021, 18:58 Local 
Registration: N1GG
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Business

On August 24, 2021, at 1858 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SF50 airplane, N1GG, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Lansing, Michigan. The pilot and 3 passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight.

The flight was departing from runway 10R at Capital Region International Airport (KLAN). The pilot reported a loss of left rudder effectiveness and left brake authority during the takeoff roll. He decided to reject the takeoff but was unable to stop on the remaining runway available resulting in a runway excursion. The airplane subsequently encountered an airport perimeter fence and a ditch. A postimpact fire ensued.

The recoverable data module (RDM) has been retained by the NTSB for download.

A postaccident airplane examination is pending a review of the RDM data.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N1GG
Model/Series: SF50 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLAN,859 ft msl 
Observation Time: 18:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C /24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4900 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 9 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Lansing, MI (LAN)
Destination: Melbourne, FL (MLB)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 3 None 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.778514,-84.564772 (est)

LANSING, Michigan (WILX) - Tuesday evening a plane crashed at Capital Region International Airport, causing emergency responders to rush to the location and fight to extinguish the fiery wreckage.

Despite the apparent severity of the crash, none of the passengers on board were harmed.

The crashed plane was a Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet. Airport officials confirmed that they were first alerted to the crash at 6:59 p.m., though they did not state what caused the plane to go down.

Emergency responders, including the Lansing Fire Department, DeWitt Township Fire Department and Delta Township Fire Department worked quickly to extinguish the plane, which caught fire shortly after impact at the crash site.

“We are grateful that everyone walked away from the plane without injuries,” said Nicole Noll-Williams, President and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority. “We applaud our CRAA emergency response team and our mutual aid partners in response to the aircraft accident.”

News 10 spoke with an eyewitness, Victoria Vanholder, who says she saw the crash just after it happened. She says she saw the passengers and their dog get out of the plane as it was burning.

“It was three gentleman and an older lady, all maybe in their 50′s,” Vanholder said. “One of them-- I don’t know if he flew the plane or what-- but he just kept looking at it like he was about to cry. When the local fire department showed up I went up to them immediately and let them know everyone was out and they seemed really relieved.”

Officials from the Lansing Fire Department told News 10 all passengers successfully self-evacuated the plane. Although the plane was badly damaged, neither the humans nor the dog sustained any injuries.


  1. There was a strong thunder storm arriving with 25 mph+ winds a quick wind direction shift and heavy rains with trees and powerlines down, at the same time the emergency calls for this started coming in.

    1. On ATC comm audio, tower first gave RW 28L, then offered RW 10R, noting storm rolling in. Pilot: "Yeah, let's do that so we can turn and get outta here". Tower advised wind 280 at seven knots, then advised N1GG of wind shear 20 knots plus.

      Downwind takeoff, wind shear near, rushing to get airborne.

    2. Winds were 20 to 45 as the gust front entered the area. Not surprised if they had a wind alert on that runway that the small single jet just couldn't get lift. They went from a C 500 to the newer jet.

    3. Went through the fence at a relatively slow speed after 8500 feet of runway and 1000+ feet of turf overrun space. Managed to miss the navaids on the ground and almost got stopped.

      The relatively slight pre-fire damage suggests simple overrun after abort or a re-land after rotate. Did he skip the takeoff checklist in the rush to get airborne?

      Street view where it came to a stop:

    4. The comment "They went from a C 500 to the newer jet." is not correct.

      The previous N1GG was a C500 but was exported to Hungary in 2007. Three people reserved the number from 2007 to 2020.

    5. NTSB: poor pilot decision to depart after given a wind shear advisory.

  2. Here's a much clearer street view of location,-84.5643729,3a,68.3y,223.82h,78.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s3xFlJQtCRi_2wxXOPhZYNw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

    Overhead view'42.9%22N+84%C2%B033'52.5%22W/@42.7788264,-84.5673938,822m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d42.7785792!4d-84.5645925?hl=en

  3. They are lucky and blessed to be alive !!!

    1. They were “unlucky and stupid” and blessed to be alive.

  4. Replies
    1. I don't know the number for the SF50, but piston SR2xs need 500-600' minimum altitude for the chute to be effective. The SF50 altitude is almost certainly higher.

  5. Never attempt to take off in the face of an arriving thunderstorm. Simple as that.

  6. impulsive actions that subvert disciplined decision processes have serious consequences, especially by a PIC.

  7. "he just kept looking at it like he was about to cry"

    Yeah... if I was watching my $2 million dollar jet burn, I'd want to cry too!

    1. And it was fractional ownership, so now he has to explain it to his partners.

    2. Curious, is he really out $3mm, or does insurance cover? Or is payout based upon whether or not he was negligent?

    3. $3M is a complete ripoff for this thing unless you are adamant on buying a brand new "affordable" jet. It's not that fast by jet standards and can't carry much payload with decent range. If I had $3M to burn on a jet, I'll take a real starter jet that is cabin class like a Mustang M2 or Phenom 100. Oh and they have an actual toilet too.

  8. I'm a little surprised at the fire from such a low-energy runway overrun.

    1. Have to factor in cherry red brake rotors from attempting to stop during the over run. Jet-A spilled onto hot brakes from a fence pole hit that compromised a wing fuel cell is all it would take to get things going.

    2. "cherry red brake rotors"

      Exactly. Throw gasoline on an electric stove burner set on high and see what happens.

    3. Nah Nah....I will take your word on that one!

    4. And kero has a lower auto ignition temperature than gasoline. Not what you'd expect. Higher flash point, lower auto ignition temp. And water is more volatile than kero/jet fuel! (Unrelated but interesting)
      Words associated with fire get misused a lot.
      I bet those 'lil brakes were awfully hot if dragged, and then used for a hard stop from v1. If the 'brake failure' was simply fade from high temps, that is confirmed. If full of fuel and those passengers, the brakes could probably barely tolerate (thermally) the v1 stop, without counting the preheating from application during the takeoff roll.

    5. The auto ignition temps are noteworthy, 824 °F for 100LL but only 410 °F for Jet-A. For reference, Mazola corn oil auto ignition temperature for a kitchen fire is 740 °F.

  9. Preliminary report confirms he barrelled downwind thru 8500 feet of runway and 1000+ feet of turf overrun but the mains left the ground only briefly as they flopped across the ditch at the end.

    The pilot had to drag the left brake during the takeoff roll to hold the castering nose wheel straight, leaving him with unbalanced brake capacity to get the plane stopped after he finally surrendered to the abort.

    They are lucky that inability to control the castering nose wheel didn't cause them to plow through the ground-mounted navaids in the straight ahead of the overrun.

  10. The pilot says they lost RUDDER and BRAKE? OK, sure. I read comments there was a strong cross wind. This is my pet peeve. Too many pilots of all levels never learned or mastered cross wind operations, Fwd slip and aileron into wind with opposite rudder pressure... This may not be a factor but clearly they lost directional control. We shall see if it was mechanical or pilot LOC.

  11. Interesting that the NTSB initial report does not mention anything about convective weather in the area.....

  12. I watched one of these Cirrus jets take off yesterday morning, DA was 1000 feet, 3 aboard and as I waited for the fuel truck, I’d assume it departed with full fuel.
    4500 foot runway and during his takeoff run, I winced as he was still on the ground more than 3/4s the way down. He made it off with about 500 feet to spare. Real anemic climb.
    I don’t know folks … I’d spend the same for a proven design with two burners versus one. If fuel consumption and being green is a big deal to you, then maybe a personal jet is slightly contradictory. I had no idea it has a castering nose wheel. I find that amazing given the price.

  13. That one you watched may have been dragging brakes too much to steer the castering nose wheel while waiting for ruddervators to become effective, but you are on to something.

    Cirrus Vision Jet specs show 1,846 lbs thrust and 6000 lbs max takeoff weight, a thrust to weight ration of 31%, while Citation XLS+ current model specs show 8,238 lbs combined thrust from two burners and 20,200 lbs max takeoff weight, a thrust to weight ration of 41%.

    Don't let a journalist, common core math student or pandemic statistician tell you that the Citation example has just 10% more thrust ratio than the Cirrus. Raising 31% by 10 to 41% is 32% more thrust ratio, a difference easy to see when comparing takeoffs.

    1. Designing the Cirrus Jet with a castering nose wheel is kindergarten engineering, cheap and not in any way a design that could be considered safe. Given the price of this jet, I’m amazed Cirrus could sell the flaw to prospective buyers. It makes me wonder how many owners are going to feel the sting of brake overhauls at frequent intervals.
      I’d be interested to see the airspeed in which the ruddervators become effective enough to control directional control on the runway run, and a closer look at those numbers as the crosswind component increases.
      Speaking from my time as a CFII, Differential braking on takeoff is one of the BAD piloting habits I immediately recognized and corrected in students. Using the brakes on takeoff to control drift is counterproductive and unsafe.
      Whether it be hydraulic, electric or direct linkage … proven and lightweight systems are well proven and should be the immediate redesign for this jet.

    2. Is "differential braking" the SOP for directional control during takeoff? And -- if so -- I'd love to see the certification documents and performance numbers for this.

      Did Cirrus self-certify this jet like Boeing did with the 'MAX ???

    3. It would be interesting to learn the airspeeds where the ruddervators become effective and where the effectiveness drops out. Reviews don't say.

  14. 3M is a LOT of munny for a near-jet.

    AND -- people can't get their hands on 'em: there's a backlog of orders and tough to find on the used market.

    Thurman Munson all over again: folks with a high cash-to-skill ratio missing the BASICS.

  15. "Designing the Cirrus Jet with a castering nose wheel is kindergarten engineering, cheap and not in any way a design that could be considered safe."

    A couple generations of Swearingen/Fairchild Metro drivers might claim otherwise. The few runway excursions experienced over millions of takeoffs and landings were mostly due to snow or ice covered runways, engine failure aborts and yes, even a handful due to inexperience of young regional pilots.

  16. "Designing the Cirrus Jet with a castering nose wheel is kindergarten engineering, cheap and not in any way a design that could be considered safe."

    Eclipse jets have castering nose wheel, and most owners that replace the brakes are not doing so because they are worn out, they are because of chatter and age. I should also note that the Eclipse has no spoilers, or anything besides brakes to slow the aircraft. The above said, the only time you use caster is for a very tight turn beyond what would be normal and you use a quick motion, that would cause almost NO brake wear. Not sure where you're going with this comment, most people making the VLJ compromise would not want to reduce their useful load adding "hydraulic, electric or direct linkage"