Fatality at home airport KAND-Cirrus

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by Juan-Manuel Fantango, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. Juan-Manuel Fantango

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    Flew to KCRG and Ponte Vedra last week for a few days, and Julie called for a briefing. Needless to say we were surprised to find KAND closed. Called the manager and discovered there was a fatality. It was a chilling reminder of the dangers involved in flying. Then to see the wreckage from the air, and read the article about this accomplished man, loved by family and friends- really makes you sad. To top it off, his best friend who apparently was a flight instructor for Cirrus had just gotten out of the plane, and witnessed it from the terminal. His valiant efforts to save his friend in vain....God speed and prayers for the family.

    http://communitypress.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20120427/NEWS/304270178/Anderson-man-dies-plane-crash?odyssey=nav%7Chead

    http://www.examiner.com/article/pilot-of-cirrus-sr22-aircraft-dies-fiery-south-carolina-crash
     
  2. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
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    #2 toggie, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
    A very sad story to read.

    Given the following quote from the article, were there x-winds that day perhaps?
    “But as it was taking off, the plane veered off the runway, went into a ravine and caught fire."

    The 2nd article implied it was a stall during take-off.
    Doesn't make sense that an experienced airport manager would use the phrase "veered off the runway" for a stall, unless it was a really low-level one.
    .
     
  3. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ
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    So very sad. There is no way to know this early what happened with certainty - anything from pilot error to stuck brake to pilot incapacitation. Prayers for the family of this accomplished man.

    Is it just me or does it seem like the Cirrus is the V-tailed Bonanza of the new millenium? A wonderful aircraft, but I read about crashes more than other aircraft.
     
  4. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
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    Apr 21, 2003
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    I don't follow civil aviation much..... Do you think this is because the Cirrus has some traits which lend it to crashes or is it a function of it's popularity?

    Cirrus is the one with a parachute right? Do you think it causes people to get in over their heads a bit more?
     
  5. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
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    I'm not an expert, but I think the Cirrus is a plane that attracts too many first-time pilots.
    Rather than building some time in a more forgiving Cessna or Piper, people with the financial resources go for a Cirrus as their first plane.
    The same was true 30 or so years ago for the v-tailed Bonanzas.

    Nothing wrong with this IMHO, except it has to include better training to go with it.
    Also, the personal dedication and time commitment to stay current in skills.
     
  6. cheesey

    cheesey Formula 3

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    it's like many other things, one can learn to fly, drive, shoot, play golf etc with a few minutes of basic instruction. It's not about the difficulty or the equipment but rather the level of proficiency needed to cover ALL elements that may influence what is being accomplished. Unfortunately current thinking in our society is to primarily focus on the equipment when an unfortunate incident occurs.
     
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  8. jason1st

    jason1st F1 Veteran

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    +1

    There are no dangerous airplanes. Only dangerous pilots.
     
  9. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
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    Interesting article on the Cirrus accident rates compared to other aircraft.
    http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Cirrus_Safety_Record_Average_205914-1.html

    Turns out the Cirrus planes aren't that much different than the other brands.

    The one model of aircraft that has an unusually low accident rate is the Diamond DA40.
    Not sure why this would be the case.

    The article says the following about the Fatal Accident Rate of aircraft:

    "Cirrus aircraft finished lower when fatal rate is considered.
    The Cirrus combined rate (SR20 and SR22) is 1.6, compared to the GA average of 1.2/100,000.
    Diamond's DA40 has the lowest fatal rate at .35, followed by the Cessna 172 at .45, the Diamond DA42 at .54 and the Cessna 182 at .69.
    Cessna's Corvalis line, which began life as the Columbia, has a fatal rate of 1.0, a bit less than the GA average of 1.2."
    .
     
  10. cheesey

    cheesey Formula 3

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    unfortunately meaningless data for a reasonable conclusion...it only compares two criteria...a model with an incident... a cause for the incident would lend to better understanding of what went wrong...was it mechanical or pilot error... was it a basic airplane or was it a complex airplane... what level of pilot proficiency etc
    unfortunately that data associates the equipment with an incident, with no further explanation
     
  11. kverges

    kverges F1 Rookie

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    Terrifies me. I trained in Cirrus and have never flown anything else. It seems awfully benign to me but I watch my airspeed, roll angles, pitch angle and the feel of the controls very carefully and wonder how this could have happened.

    I will say that Cirrus markets non-pilots very aggressively and I can't tell if this fellow was a low hour pilot or just doing transition training. If the former, I might be able to see it. I need almost full right rudder on takeoff due to large P factor and in fact need right rudder to stay coordinated in the upwind and turn to crosswind to stay coordinated in the pattern with lots of power and wonder if that is typical of HP piston singles. Maybe that was a factor or maybe he had brake input on the takeoff roll and did not get his feet down on the pedals and as the gear left the surface he had a hard left yaw?

    Very strange IMO if the instructor felt comfortable enought to let his friend and student fly solo for that to happen and I have to think some kind of failure happened on takeoff.

    What a tragedy
     
  12. jason1st

    jason1st F1 Veteran

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    Because the DA40 is a little trainer plane and there are about 5 in existence.

    There are over 10K Cirrus flying.
     
  13. cheesey

    cheesey Formula 3

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    at this point there is no reason to show concern for the airplane...

    "ooops" are NOT allowed when flying...

    The attachments indicate the pilot was low time, only started flying 2 years ago and was working towards an instrument rating ( instr rating minimum time is 180 hrs most of it dual)
    Proficiency most likely was low, flying takes a lot of currency to be at one's best, then there is the unknown of his time in a complex airplane, there can be a lot going on for a new pilot if something upsets / distracts his routine to fly... we can only speculate...
    it appears that he somehow messed up bad
     
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  15. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
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    I was thinking that a DA40 has to be a relatively rare plane.

    The only other idea I had for this accident was that maybe he tried to take off with full flaps set and he stalled it due to increased drag.
    My thinking is he had just landed and was doing a touch & go.
    Given that he had just done a series of multiple touch & go landings with an instructor on board, I'm trying to think of something atypical to go wrong.

    .
     
  16. jason1st

    jason1st F1 Veteran

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    The reports are so different.

    Was he doing touch and go's with his instructor friend or was he doing them after he dropped his instructor friend off?

    Touch and Go's are not part of IFR training. I haven't done a touch and go since my PPL check ride. So I have no idea why he'd be doing touch and go's. Why would you do touch and go in an SR22 anyways? It's a high performance plane. Too much to go wrong. Touch and go's are for Cessna's.

    Did he veer off the runway or did he climb and stall?

    If he was doing touch and go's and he did climb and stall it's because he didn't clear his flaps before applying full power again. Like I said, you don't do touch and go's in an SR22. It's not forgiving enough.
     
  17. Juan-Manuel Fantango

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    Today, according to Julie one of the airport personal indicated that he appeared to simply pull up too steeply and stalled the plane. It is amazing to me that there seems to be two versions out there that are suppose to be reported by actual eye witnesses. What happened should have been painfully clear.

    As for the DA40, I have flown in one and like the visibility, and the fact that it has had relatively few if any fires due to the way the tanks are constructed and placed in the wings. Of the few fatalities, it is ironic that three people perished in a DA40 while trying to land at KAND a few years ago-they were diverted to a nearby airport and had a CFI on board. These were the first fatalities in a DA40.

    http://www.aero-news.net/subscribe.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=db897e62-5f60-4bb5-a154-440ea849f86b

    Not to deviate to far, just google and you will find out what some are indicating about DA 40 vs Cirrus

    http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-46971.html
     
  18. toggie

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    Perhaps he had set the trim to far in the nose up position on his last landing?
    I don't know what the control pressures are like on the Cirrus, but a full-up trim setting can be a lot to overcome when full throttle is applied for the next take-off.

    This happened to me once during my training in a Cessna 172.
    I learned to never over-trim even a trainer like a 172.
    Ever since that day I like to keep a healthy amount of "weight" as I pull back on the yoke for landings - just in case I need to do a last-minute full-power go-around, I don't want to be fighting too much nose-high trim.

    I can't imagine the terror of having an airplane stall nose-high on departure when it is that close to the ground.
    R.I.P. for the poor pilot and his family.
    .
     
  19. jason1st

    jason1st F1 Veteran

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    The DA40 is a slow trainer plane. You cannot compare to an SR22.
     
  20. Juan-Manuel Fantango

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    Of course not-but as far as I can tell from my novice perspective this is only based on overall speed and power. And the Cirrus "chute" has saved quite a few lives, including one well known FCA member and fchatter. The DA40 does however appear to be safer regarding fire; and it's slower speed, overall visibility, and being more fire resistant was one reason we were looking at the DA40. No doubt the Cirrus SR22 is much more airplane. Regarding safety the 172 I found for Julie is a great plane, we have made two trips to KCRG/Ponte Vedra within the last three weeks from KAND and on board GPS saw 140 knots a few times. This plane has a 190hp engine and a strong tail wind created 140 knots briefly. Other than overall speed this has been a great plane for her. But 2.3 hours sure beats 7 hours in a car, not to mention the fun factor.

    Getting back to topic, she is diligent about watching airspeed, especially on landing. It appears to me that there are too many stall related accidents. Someone got killed out of KCRG two months ago in an Airtractor. Stalled and went straight down in a shopping center at the end of the parking lot.

    Regarding this accident, a flight instructor at KAND seems to think it was trim related, and he did not push down hard enough to lower the nose and it was a power on stall. This may be the case, but regardless, it is tragic. I consider these accidents to be warnings and lessons that may help us avoid a similar fate.
     
  21. kverges

    kverges F1 Rookie

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    Well I have my whopping 135-ish total hours in Cirrus SR20 and 22 and first, I disagree about touch and go in a 22 - if the guy was transition training I do think you do touch and gos in a 22 and I personally do some from time to time. For example, I do stop and gos for night currency. The airplane is no more complex than the SR20, which is what I did primary training in. Flaps, power, speeds are all within a few knots (22 does cruise faster, but slow flight is very similar). The big P-factor of the 22 is something you want to get a feel for, but best done at altitude doing slow flight and stalls before working in the pattern.

    One unusual thing atbout the Cirrus is that the nose wheel fully casters and you can only steer with the brakes when taxi-ing. If he was draggng the right brake down the runway and started flying, he might not have had enough right rudder and the aircraft might have gone hard left.

    Having practiced power on stalls, I would be amazed if he pitched the airplane up hard enough to stall it on takeoff. It seemed like all I could see was blue sky with 65% power and 50% flaps to get the damn thing to stall and I'd never pitch that hard off the runway. That seesm just totally counterintuitive to me.

    As for flaps, the plane will fly just fine with 50% or 100% flaps. It'll be slow of course.

    I look at my simple T/O checklist after every runup and before entering the runway. Full power, 73 knots rotate, retract flaps at 85 knots, maintain Vy or a bit faster at 101 knots +.

    The thing JUMPS off the runway in my in-experience.

    I have to think something went wrong and he did not correct, but it's all speculation at this point
     
  22. jason1st

    jason1st F1 Veteran

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    You're absolutely right on all of your points.

    An airplane is only as safe as the pilot flying it. Julie sounds like a dedicated pilot.

    As for safety, keep in mind..... More people died in car accidents this year than have ever died in airplanes in the history of aviation. Keep night flying and bad weather flying out of the equation and you have to try and kill yourself in an airplane.
     
  23. jason1st

    jason1st F1 Veteran

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    Maybe he had a heart attack.
     
  24. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    I would bet on the elevator trim being set for nose up.
     
  25. CavalloRosso

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    That seems to be the overwhelming opinion.
     
  26. jason1st

    jason1st F1 Veteran

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    Could be. I've got a lot of SR22 time as I used to own one and I never had an issue with trim even if I didn't have it set up well. It'll be an interesting story to follow.
     

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