Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Loss of Control in Flight: Cirrus SR22 G2, N123RE; fatal accident occurred July 01, 2021 near Lamoni Municipal Airport (KLWD), Decatur County, Iowa

Paladino, David Joseph
October 23, 1966 - July 1, 2021

Bear J. Nichols
September 26, 2005 - July 1, 2021

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Airmark Group LLC

Location: Lamoni, Iowa 
Accident Number: CEN21FA299
Date and Time: July 1, 2021, 07:55 Local 
Registration: N123RE
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 1, 2021, about 0755 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N123RE, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident at Lamoni Municipal Airport (LWD), Lamoni, Iowa. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) information, the airplane departed Creston Municipal Airport (CSQ), Creston, Iowa, at 0736, and flew to LWD. The pilot received flight-following from air traffic control (ATC) until about 14 miles northwest of LWD, an uncontrolled airport. The pilot did not communicate any concerns to ATC prior to leaving the frequency. The last ADS-B information showed the airplane on short final to runway 36 at LWD with a groundspeed of 74 knots.

Several witnesses saw the airplane bounce during the landing on runway 36, followed by increase in engine noise “as if just making a touch and go.” Witnesses then observed the airplane bank left, with the left wing tip striking the ground. The airplane then “cartwheeled” and impacted the ground to the left of the runway. A postimpact fire ensued during which the pilot and passenger were not able to egress the airplane.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 3, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: December 28, 2020
Flight Time: 166 hours (Total, all aircraft), 45 hours (Total, this make and model), 23 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Age: 15, Male
Airplane Rating(s): 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

The pilot began flying in 2019. On November 4, 2020, the pilot failed a practical examination for a private pilot certificate that required reexamination for the areas of takeoff, landing, go-around, and navigation. On December 28, 2020, the pilot earned a private pilot certificate flying a Cessna 172. On March 28, 2021, the pilot completed transition training for the SR22 that included about 23 hours of flight instruction.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N123RE
Model/Series: SR22 1051 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1051
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 1, 2020 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 132 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1157 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed 
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-N
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 310 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The airplane was equipped with an emergency egress hammer located in the center armrest that could be used to break through the windows. The use of the hammer to egress was described in the emergency procedures section of the pilot operating handbook.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLWD, 1135 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 07:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 142°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Creston, IA (CSQ) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lamoni, IA (LWD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 07:36 Local
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 1131 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18/36 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2900 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go around

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: On-ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.630195,-93.902882

The airplane initially contacted the ground about 75 ft left of the runway edge and about 1,050 ft beyond the runway 36 threshold. Left wingtip debris was located about 60 ft beyond the initial ground scar and the debris path was on a heading of about 300°.

Ground scars, consistent with propeller blade strikes, were located about 15 ft beyond the left wingtip debris, and the distance between five ground scars was about 3 ft. The airplane came to rest in a soybean field (see figure) about 60 ft beyond the propeller strike ground scars.

The airplane sustained significant fire damage. Flight control continuity was confirmed, and the wing flaps were in the retracted position. The engine separated from the airframe during impact sequence. Engine continuity was established throughout the rotating group, valve train, and accessory section during hand rotation of the crankshaft. No evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions were observed during the postaccident examinations of the engine and airframe.

Additional Information

According to the FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Aerodynamics of Flight (Chapter 5):

To the pilot, “torque” (the left turning tendency of the airplane) is made up of four elements that cause or produce a twisting or rotating motion around at least one of the airplane’s three axes.

These four elements are:

1. Torque reaction from engine and propeller
2. Corkscrewing effect of the slipstream
3. Gyroscopic action of the propeller
4. Asymmetric loading of the propeller (P-factor)

The effects of each of these four elements of torque vary in value with changes in flight situations…to maintain positive control of the aircraft in all flight conditions, the pilot must apply the flight controls as necessary to compensate for these varying values.

Medical and Pathological Information

An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner, Ankeny, Iowa. The cause of death was thermal injuries and smoke inhalation. Toxicology testing identified a carboxyhemoglobin saturation of 23% in the pilot’s blood, which was a level consistent with smoke inhalation.


  1. Hard to understand how, on a perfect day with minimal winds at an airport with no obstructions, a person can botch a landing and subsequent go around attempt badly enough to make it a double fatality accident.
    It's bad enough that the pilot offed himself, but taking a 15 year old with him is just tragic.

  2. 100 hour pilot.....with 23 hours in this plane. And he thought it was a good idea to take a kid up with him?

    1. You'd be surprised who they let do Young Eagles flights these days. Low hours? Experimental aircraft? no problem! As long as you have a pilots license and a pulse, if you are current, you're good to go!

    2. The report says "45 hours (Total, this make and model)" not 23, but I think the concerns are the same, and more over "The pilot began flying in 2019. On November 4, 2020, the pilot failed a practical examination for a private pilot certificate that required reexamination for the areas of takeoff, landing, go-around, and navigation." At least a year of lessons before your checkride and you still fail 4 areas? Flying is not for everyone.

    3. There's no reason why a certified and current 100 hour pilot shouldn't take up a passenger.

    4. How about any of the reasons that a certified and current pilot might be unsafe to fly that are covered by IMSAFE? I wouldn't say "no reason".

    5. Well yes, but I was more responding to the notion that 100 hours isn't enough time to carry pax.

  3. I miss you a lot Bear, thank you for being in my life, I wanted to see you be an actor. Thank you for all the smiles and laughter. Miss you so much Bear. Miss you so much. ~Your friend C.S