Accident Cirrus SR22 N621PH,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44255
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Date:Sunday 11 December 2005
Type:Silhouette image of generic SR22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cirrus SR22
Registration: N621PH
MSN: 1481
Year of manufacture:2005
Total airframe hrs:317 hours
Engine model:Continental IO-550-N
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Arco, MN -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Wayne, NE (LCG)
Destination airport:Minneapolis, MN (FCM)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain following an in-flight loss of control. The night cross-country flight was conducted under visual flight rules (VFR) by a non-instrument rated private pilot. Air traffic control radar track data and associated surface weather observations indicated that the flight encountered deteriorating cloud ceilings along the route. The pilot obtained a pre-flight weather briefing, during which the briefer informed him of forecast and reported instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions along the proposed route of flight. Track data indicated that the flight proceeded approximately 65 nautical miles (nm) north of the course proposed in the pre-flight briefing. During the flight, the pilot contacted Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center and requested flight following. The controller informed the pilot that radar contact could not be maintained in the area and at the altitude the airplane was operating. The controller suggested that the pilot climb to a higher altitude in order to permit radar service. The pilot replied, "I've got clouds above me" and stated that he would continue under VFR. The radar altitude returns decreased from 3,400 feet mean sea level (msl) to 2,100 feet msl during the final 65 nautical miles (nm) of the flight. The reported cloud ceiling 65 nm south of the accident site and along the flight path was 3,600 above ground level (agl) (5,000 feet msl). The reported ceiling 25 nm south of the site and along the flight path was 1,400 feet agl (3,100 msl). The reported ceiling 15 nm east of the site was 800 feet agl (2,000 feet msl). Radar track data indicated that the airplane entered a right turn from a northbound course at 2,100 feet msl. Final radar contact was approximately 60 seconds later and depicted the airplane on a westbound course at 2,800 feet msl. Elevation at the accident site was about 1,581 feet. The wreckage was contained within the immediate vicinity of the impact point and was oriented on a southerly heading. First responders noted that the snow cover was undisturbed except in the immediate vicinity of the airplane. A post accident inspection did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a pre-impact failure. The airplane's ground speed and calibrated airspeed were calculated from radar track and winds aloft data. During the climbing turn, within the final 60 seconds of available radar data, the airplane's calibrated airspeed decreased to 41 knots. The published stall speed for the airplane in level flight, with a flaps-up configuration, was 69 knots. The stall speed increased to 74 knots and 82 knots at bank angles of 30 degrees and 45 degrees, respectively.
Probable Cause: The pilot's inadvertent cruise flight into instrument meteorological conditions, and his failure to maintain control of the aircraft after experiencing spatial disorientation. Factors associated with the accident are the pilot's improper planning/decision making, low ceilings, a dark night, and spatial disorientation.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CHI06FA043
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
06-Dec-2017 11:37 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]

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