Friday, February 10, 2006

Accidents of the Week

This was not a good week to be flying a Cirrus. There were two reported accidents involving Cirri, both in SR-22s, and both involving IMC. In one case, the parachute was clearly not deployed; in the other, deployment is unknown as the wreckage and those onboard have not been located.
NTSB Identification: MIA06LA050
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 04, 2006 in Stuart, FL
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp. SR-22, registration: N667WP
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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.

On February 04, 2006, about 1600 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR-22, N667WP, registered to Aircraft Guaranty Management & Trust, LLC, Trustee and operated by a private individual, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed into the ocean near Stuart, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight from Stuart, Florida to St. Augustine, Florida. The private/instrument-rated pilot and two passengers have not been located and presumed to have received fatal injuries, and the airplane is presumed to be destroyed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident..

Shortly after takeoff, the Witham Field Air Traffic Control Tower controller instructed the flight crew to contact the FAA Palm Beach Approach. Communication and radar contact was established by Palm Beach Approach. Moments later one of the persons on board the accident airplane informed the controller that they were having instrument problems and requested to return to Stuart. The controller cleared the flight to return to the airport; and an acknowledgement was not received. The last radar contact was at 16:00:23 when the flight was located at latitude 27 degrees, 12 minutes, and 16.15 seconds north, and longitude at 080 degrees, 8 minutes, and 00.32 seconds west, at 1,900 feet.
NTSB Identification: CHI06LA078
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 06, 2006 in Wagner, SD
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, registration: N751CD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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.

On February 6, 2006, about 1324 central standard time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22, N751SD, piloted by an instrument rated private pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain following an in-flight loss of control during climb in instrument meteorological conditions near Wagner, South Dakota. The personal flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the surface at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules flight plan was on file and was activated. The pilot and passenger reported no injuries. The flight originated from the Wagner Municipal Airport, near Wagner, South Dakota, about 1315, and was en route to the Schaumburg Regional Airport, near Schaumburg, Illinois.

Much has been written about Cirrus airplanes. They appear to be some of the nicest available. A number of aviation safety authors far more knowledgeable than the IFR Pilot have speculated that low-time, relatively inexperienced pilots who have significant disposable income are scooping up well-eqipped Cirri and flying them into conditions for which they are not prepared to cope, beleiving that the technical wizardry of the airplane, combined with the BRS parachute, will deliver them from all evils. I don't know if this hypothesis is valid, but at times it sure does seem to have some validity. Perhaps the probable cause findings from these accidents will provide some detail about the experience level of the pilots.


Mark said...

Someone once said, a fool and his money are soon flying more airplane then he can handle.

John said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

If you look at the accident history of Cirrus aircraft, and then get the unpublished details behind some of those stories, you definitely see a pattern of rich man buys airplane... rich man does something stupid... rich man crashes airplane. Cirrus really has a bad rap because of these bad apples. They are wonderful airplanes in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing.