Aircraft: Cirrus SR22. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: South Bend, Ind. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land in winds from 300° at 15 knots with gusts to 24 knots. A witness on the ground stated that the airplane was being “bounced around” by the wind gusts and that it “stalled and rolled to the left.” The airplane was in a 15° to 30° left bank and a nose-down attitude before it crashed.
No pre-impact airframe or engine anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane were found during the investigation.
The airplane’s Recoverable Data Module (RDM) did not record data during the accident flight. About eight months before the accident, the airplane’s annual inspection was completed, and two days later the airplane’s recoverable data module (RDM) stopped recording data due to a failed transient voltage suppressor (TVS). The airplane underwent a 100-hour inspection about midway through the eight month period, and the failed RDM was not detected at that time. The system does not provide a failure indication to the pilot, and there is no requirement during the 100-hour inspection to check the RDM.
A likely cause of the TVS failure could have been electrical over-stress as the airplane was tied down overnight, and lightning was present when the RDM stopped recording. A similar airplane sustained substantial lightning strike damage while tied down and at least two other airplanes sustained lightning strikes at that time.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control while on final approach with a gusting crosswind and the subsequent aerodynamic stall and spin during the attempted go-around.
NTSB Identification: CEN11FA267
This April 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.