After performing six touch-and-go maneuvers without incident, the pilot receiving instruction and flight instructor contacted air traffic control and requested a climb to 3,000′ to perform a simulated engine failure and landing maneuver.
The air traffic controller cleared the pilots for the maneuver and requested they report the base-to-final turn to the runway, and the pilot acknowledged the instructions.
The controller reported that, about 4 minutes later, he observed the Cirrus SR22 in a descending left turn.
As the plane approached the runway, he observed the right wing lift, and the plane appeared to stall and roll to the right before it hit terrain near Marion, Illinois.
Another witness reported she could see the entire top of the airplane with the wings pointed up and down, and that she saw one wing hit the terrain shortly after.
The flight instructor had no recollection of the accident. The pilot receiving instruction died in the crash.
A review of the flight and engine data revealed the plane climbed to about 3,000′, and then circled while remaining in the airport traffic pattern area.
The plane then descended, and the airspeed gradually decreased from about 110 to about 87 kts.
During the final three seconds of the recording, vertical, lateral, and longitudinal accelerations increased to recorded peaks of 1.4 g, -0.2 g, and 0.4 g, respectively.
During the final second of the recording, the airplane was at 646′ when it entered a descending left turn; the roll value increased from 36° to 45° left, and the pitch value ranged from -0.5° to 2.4°.
The witness statements and flight data are consistent with the pilots failing to maintain adequate airspeed and exceeding the wing’s critical angle of attack, which resulted in a subsequent aerodynamic stall and loss of control.
The airplane’s parachute system was found deployed, which likely occurred during the impact sequence.
Given the low altitude at which the aerodynamic stall occurred (about 646′), it is unlikely that pre-impact deployment of the system would have positively affected the outcome of the accident.
Probable cause: The pilots’ failure to maintain adequate airspeed while executing a simulated engine failure and landing maneuver, which resulted in the wing’s critical angle of attack being exceeded and a subsequent aerodynamic stall and loss of control.
NTSB Identification: CEN16FA214
This June 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.