The airline transport pilot was repositioning the Cirrus SR22 to its home base after maintenance was completed at a repair station.
He filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan with a cruise altitude of 9,000′ mean sea level (msl).
The en route portion of the flight to the destination was uneventful.
Before descending to approach altitude, he contacted approach control and reported that he had received weather information for the airport in Xenia, Ohio. He then requested and was given clearance to fly the area navigation (RNAV) approach to Runway 7.
Approach control cleared the pilot to descend to 3,000′ msl and issued pilot reports for icing.
The pilot flew the RNAV approach to Runway 7, tracking inbound to the airport on the published approach course. About 5.8 miles from the airport, he cancelled his IFR clearance and continued inbound under visual flight rules. His recorded altitude at the time of IFR cancellation was 2,700′ msl.
Reported weather at the airport at the time of the accident included a ceiling of 1,700′ above ground level (2,649′ msl) and wind from 240° at 9 kts, gusting to 14 kts, and variable from 240 to 330°.
One witness at the airport saw the airplane enter a downwind leg to land into the wind on Runway 25. As the plane began its turn from the base leg to final, several other witnesses saw it nose down and descend to impact in wooded terrain about 300′ short of the runway threshold. The pilot died in the crash.
A post-accident weather study showed high icing potential within the cloud layers above the surface and a likelihood of moderate or greater icing along the airplane’s route of flight until it descended below the cloud ceiling.
Because the surface temperature was below freezing, any structural ice that built up on the airplane while it descended through the clouds would not have melted after the airplane descended below the cloud ceiling.
Data recovered from the airplane’s Remote Data Module showed that the anti-ice tank switch was turned on about 7 minutes, 30 seconds before the accident and remained on for 1 minute, 50 seconds. The switch was then turned off and remained off for the remainder of the flight.
The airplane’s flaps were extended to the “HALF” position about 2 minutes, 50 seconds before the accident.
Just before the data ended, the airplane’s pitch and bank increased, and the stall warning activated. In the last three seconds of data, the airplane’s bank angle was 48° to 50°, and the indicated airspeed was between 87 and 90 kts.
The Pilot’s Operating Handbook for the airplane showed that at 60° of bank with half flaps, the airplane’s stall speed was 95 kts. It is possible that, during the approach, ice accumulated on the airplane, which may have increased the airplane’s stall speed.
However, regardless of whether structural ice was present, during the turn to final, the pilot allowed the airspeed to decrease below the airplane’s published stall speed. As a result, the wing’s critical angle-of-attack was exceeded, and the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall and departed controlled flight.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed while turning from the base leg to final, which resulted in the wing’s critical angle-of-attack being exceeded and a subsequent aerodynamic stall.
NTSB Identification: CEN16FA095
This January 2016 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.
First of all… the NTSB report does not state that there was ice on the aircraft! Period…..and your headline on the article indicates ice was a contributor. “Ice contributes to SR22’s fatal stall”……… how do you know that Mr or Miss Editor? That is speculation…. the known facts does not support that headline.
Second, the stall did not kill the pilot………. impact with the ground did…..suggest the term “blunt force trauma” in your article would be accurate
So……….. you want to be accurate with your headline…. then state something like “Pilot makes decision(s) that result in his death”
Apparently, this pilot forgot the basics of how lift is generated and failed to apply the aircraft controls so that the outcome of the maneuver/flight was never in doubt.
All the comments are opinions, including mine………the one thing that I can state this is accurate and true ….is that once again the aircraft obeyed the laws of physics (something not taught well at all in the general pilot pool)… I have yet to see an aircraft go up with the engine quits….. again, just an opinion.
Will the TKS anti ice on an SR 22T clear “Moderate Mixed Ice” in 90 seconds of ops (the total amount of time the anti-ice system was operated during descent prior to entering the traffic pattern)? The NTSB Final narrative says PIREPS from “…two hours prior to the accident and 1 hour after the accident showed for the area around I19, light and moderate rime to moderate mixed icing in the clouds below flight level 200…” Email correspondence between the meteorologist board and NTSB investigator observed that “…anytime this flight was in the cloud layer they would have been in moderate or greater icing conditions.” The SR22T TKS supplement I found online said a “minimum airspeed” of 95KTS was “normal ops” when flying through ice. The supp also said the anti ice system should be on continuously when in icing conditions.
Mike S. says
Good, OLD FASHION airmanship may have prevented this. I guess Cirrus doesn’t have a stick shaker or stick kicker like the airliners. My OLD FASHION Cessna, a lesser airplane according to gbigs, does have those features ether. But then again I was taught the OLD FASHION way and haven’t even needed a stall warning.
Glenn Swiatek says
Winds aloft are usually stronger than ground level. Gusting conditions could have been greater or maybe not. I was visual condition at Aberdeen with the classic set up for a overshoot turn to base. The hair on the back of my neck told me to stay hi and wide on downwind. Because of articles like this. RIP
I won’t call this ‘stupid pilot tricks’.
This pilot made 2 mistakes, failures of basic airmanship… failing to anticipate overshooting the turn to final with the tailwind on the base leg.
Then, over banking to get back to the final alignment.
When he turned to final and saw the overshoot, he should have done a go-around…
With his flight hours, he should have known what the conditions would do. He failed in situational awareness .
The article states there was FIKI on the SR22. If used properly the wing and tail will be protected from ice accumulation. Especially if for a short period as in a descent to the airport. So it is more likely the pilot was in a hurry to get down and made an very extreme bank angle (50 degree @ 90kts) to final, stalled low to the ground and crashed.