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N969ES accident description

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Tail numberN969ES
Accident dateOctober 27, 2006
Aircraft typeCirrus Design Corp. SR22
LocationStatesville, NC
Near 35.758889 N, -80.953889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 27, 2006, at 1216 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N969ES, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with trees while maneuvering in the vicinity of Statesville Regional Airport, Statesville, North Carolina. The pilot had been cleared by air traffic control (ATC) for an instrument landing system approach (ILS) to runway 28. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight plan (IFR) was filed. The airplane received substantial damage. The private pilot and one passenger received serious injuries. Two passengers were fatally injured. The flight originated from North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport, West Palm Beach, Florida, on October 27, 2006, at 0900. The flight was en route to a visual flight rules (VFR) airfield, located at Lake Norman Airpark, Mooresville, North Carolina. The pilot diverted to Statesville, North Carolina, due to weather.

Review of transcripts revealed the pilot contacted Charlotte Approach control at 1134 and requested the weather at Charlotte. The controller advised the pilot the weather was 600 broken,1200 overcast, visibility one and half miles. The pilot asked the controller what the weather was at his destination airport. The controller informed the pilot the weather at Concord Airport ten to 15 miles from his destination was 200 overcast, 2 miles visibility, and mist. The pilot asked the controller to change his destination to Statesville. The controller approved the request, and provided the pilot with radar vectors to Statesville. The controller informed the pilot he was number 4 for the approach, and advised the pilot the displaced threshold to runway 28 was 2,000 feet. In addition, the controller informed the pilot that the airplane ahead of him reported breaking out of the clouds 50 feet above minimums. The pilot acknowledged the transmission. At 1203, the controller informed the pilot he was 7 miles from Pegte intersection, maintain 3,000 feet until established on the final approach course, and the pilot was cleared for the ILS runway 28 approach. The pilot acknowledged the clearance at 1206, and there were no further recorded transmissions with the pilot.

The pilot stated he received a full weather briefing from St. Petersburg, Florida, Lockheed-Martin Automated Flight Service Station for a weather briefing for the IFR flight to Mooresville, North Carolina. The weather was forecasted to be VFR upon his arrival. The ceiling was forecasted to be between 2,500 to 3,000 feet with rain showers and was not forecasted to decrease until between 1430 to 1500. The pilot stated he did not get any en-route weather updates. Before departing the pilot briefed the passengers on the emergency exits, use of restraint systems, and the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS); however the pilot did not remove the safety pin on the CAPS before departing or during the flight. Upon arrival in the Charlotte area , the pilot stated he was handed off by ATC to Charlotte approach control, and he was instructed to descend. During the descent the pilot realized the weather at his destination airport may not be VFR. He requested permission from the controller to divert to Statesville. The controller approved his request and provided radar vectors to the ILS runway 28 final approach course. The pilot stated he was flying the airplane with the autopilot, and performed the before landing checks. The pilot extended the flaps to 50 percent and ultimately to 100 percent. The pilot stated he was not cleared by the controller for a circling approach or issued alternate missed approach procedures. The pilot remembered descending below the clouds on the approach, but could not remember any other events associated with the accident.

Witness stated the airplane was observed on approach for runway 28 at Statesville Regional Airport. The airplane came out of the clouds in the vicinity of taxiway D and continued over the runway to taxiway F. An increase in engine power was heard and the airplane started a right turn and entered the clouds. The airplane was heard north of the airport and was observed again on the south side of the runway traveling from southeast to the northwest located just below the clouds, and crossed runway 28. The airplane entered the clouds and came out of the clouds north of Aviation Drive. The witnesses observed the airplane make a sharp bank to the right estimated at a 45-degree angle of bank followed by a 45-degree left bank. The nose of the airplane was observed to pitch down and the airplane collided with trees and the ground.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Review of information on file with the FAA Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on June 20, 2003, with ratings for airplane single engine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot held a third class medical certificate issued on December 1, 2005, with the restriction "must have available glasses for near vision."

The pilot attended Cirrus SR22 flight training contracted out to Wings Aloft by Cirrus Design from September 4, 2001, through September 7, 2001. The pilot received 7 hours of ground school and 8.7 hours of dual instruction. The curriculum called for 5 hours of ground school and 7.75 hours of dual instruction including 1.5 hours for the final flight evaluation. The pilot did not receive a final evaluation flight and was not awarded a completion certificate. The instructor pilot noted in his daily notes on September 8, 2006, "the pilot did not fly consistently to the performance standards. The pilot was behind the airplane and general finesse was lacking." The pilot's insurance company did not require a factory sign off. The pilots stated he received additional flight instruction after returning home from his flight instructor who attended the SR22 training with him.

Review of the pilot's logbook revealed he has 717 total hours not including 3 hour and 16 minutes on the accident flight. The pilot has recorded 501 total flight hours in the SR22 of which 14 hours has been flown in the last 90 days and 5 hours has been flown in the last 30 days. The pilots last flight review and instrument proficiency check was conducted on June 25, 2005. The pilot's last recorded instrument flight was on June 26, 2006, and he has accumulated 51 hours of actual instrument flight time. The pilot has logged 92 hours of simulated instrument flight time. The pilot's last recorded flight was on October 18, 2006, in a Piper PA31. The pilot's last recorded flight in the SR22 before the accident flight was on October 4, 2006. The pilot's last recorded instrument approaches before the accident was on May 1, 2006, with a certified flight instructor.

Further review of the pilot's logbook revealed in the previous 12-month period before the accident, the pilot had logged 8.0 hours of actual instrument flight time, and 3.8 hours of simulated instrument flight time. The simulated instrument flight time included 1.8 hours with an instructor, and 2.0 hours of simulated instrument flight time as PIC, however, no safety pilot was noted in the remarks section of the logbook. In addition, the pilot had logged 7 instrument approaches. Six approaches were logged during 1.8 hours of simulated instrument flight with a flight instructor. The remaining approach did not indicate in the logbook if the pilot flew in instrument or simulated flight conditions. In addition, the logbook did not reflect the type of approach that was flown. Logbook entries revealed the pilot flew 3 solo instrument approaches. One approach was flown on July 2, 2003, January 25, 2005, and the last approach was flown on June 2, 2006. None of the flights indicated if the flights were flown in instrument or simulated instrument flight conditions, and the type of approach flown was not identified.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Review of the Cirrus Design records revealed the pilot purchased the airplane from Cirrus Design on September 4, 2001.The last recorded annual inspection was conducted on July 14, 2006, at Hobbs time 577.4. The Hobbs time at the crash site was 598.3 hours. The airplane has flown 20.9 hours since the annual inspection. The altimeter, static pressure system, and transponder tests were completed on June 8, 2005. Examination of the gyro instruments revealed no anomalies. The airplane was topped off with 42.7 gallons of 100 low lead fuel at Landmark Aviation, North Palm Beach County General Airport, West Palm Beach, Florida, on October 27, 2006.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Review of the approach chart for the "ILS or LOC/DME RWY 28 Statesville Regional Airport (SVH)" revealed the minimums for the approach is decision height 1,166 feet, and 3/4 mile visibility. The airport elevation is 968 feet and the touchdown elevation is 966 feet. The weather at the time of the accident was 300 feet overcast with a visibility of 1 1/2 mile. The missed approach procedure requires the pilot to climb to 1,700 feet, followed by a climbing left turn to 3,400 feet on a heading of 080-degrees until intercepting the Charlotte 024 radial to PEGTE intersection and the Statesville 12.2 DME and hold. The minimums for the circling approach is decision height 1,420 feet and 1 mile visibility.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The NWS Surface Analysis Chart at 1100 depicted the general synoptic conditions prior to the accident. The chart depicted a low-pressure system with a central sea level pressure of 998-hectopascal (hPa) over the Arkansas and Tennessee border, with an occluded front extending south-southeast through Tennessee to Mississippi, where the triple point was located. A cold front extended to the south-southwest from this point across Mississippi, eastern Louisiana, into the Gulf of Mexico. A warm front extended from the triple point, eastward across Mississippi, southern Alabama and Georgia, and then northeastward along the South Carolina coast. The accident site was located north of the warm front, and ahead or to the east of the occluded front in the cool air mass sector.

The regional NWS Surface Analysis Chart at 1100 depicted a warm front along the Georgia, and Carolina coasts. The station models across eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and western and central North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee indicated continuous light to moderate rain, fog, and overcast skies. The closest station model from Charlotte, North Carolina, to the south of the accident site indicated a wind from the east at 5 knots, continuous rain, overcast sky cover, temperature of 52-degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point temperature of 50 degrees F.

The NWS regional radar mosaic chart at 1212 depicted a large area of echoes associated with rain showers extending over Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, eastern Tennessee, and Kentucky.

The accident occurred at the Statesville Regional Airport (KSVH), at an elevation of 968 feet msl, located 9 miles north-northwest of Lake Norman Airpark. The airport was equipped with an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS-3) and reported the following conditions surrounding the time of the accident:

KSVH 1201, automated observation was, wind from 040 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 1 1/4 miles in light rain, ceiling overcast at 300 feet, temperature and dew point 46-degrees F, and altimeter 30.01 inches of Mercury (Hg).

The Piedmont Triad International Airport, Greensboro, North Carolina, located 53 miles south west of Statesville wind profile indicated light surface winds, with winds from the south-southwest slowly veering to the west through 500-hPa with wind speeds increasing to 35 knots. The maximum wind was identified at below the tropopause at 43,750 feet with wind from 265 degrees at 117 knots. No strong vertical wind shears were identified below 18,000 feet. The sounding data supported low stratiform clouds. No strong vertical wind shears were identified in the sounding.

The Geostationary Operations Environmental Satellite number 12 (GOES-12) data was obtained from the NOAA's Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewart System (CLASS) and displayed on the National Transportation Safety Board's Man-computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) workstation. The GOES-12 infrared and visible satellite imagery depicted an extensive area of stratiform clouds extending over the region. No cumulonimbus clouds or thunderstorms were identified in the vicinity of the accident site.

The closest NWS Weather Surveillance Radar-1988, Doppler (WSR-88D) was Roanoke, Virginia. The 1214 base reflectivity image depicted echoes ranging from 5 to 30 dbz or light intensity echoes extending over the region, with echoes of 5 to 10 dbz over the accident site.

The following pilot reports (PIREPs) were recorded over North Carolina surrounding the time of the accident. The reports are in standard format, but in narrative form, versus standard code and abbreviations. The reports are as follows:

Raleigh-Durham (RDU) routine pilot report (UA); Over - 35 miles southwest of RDU; Time - 0953; Flight level - 11,000 feet; Type aircraft - Boeing 737 airliner (B737); Weather - moderate rain; Turbulence - negative (smooth); Remarks - instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

Greensboro (GSO) routine pilot report (UA); Over - 1 mile northeast of GSO; Time - 1201; Flight level - 400 feet; Type aircraft - British Aerospace (H25B) business jet; Remarks - cloud bases at 400 feet.

Raleigh-Durham (RDU) routine pilot report (UA); Over - Sand Hills (SDZ); Time - 1301; Flight level - 5,000 feet; Type aircraft - Cirrus (SR22) high performance single engine airplane; Temperature - 9 degrees C; Wind - 193 degrees at 17 knots; Icing - negative; Remarks - instrument meteorological conditions with a smooth ride.

Charlotte (CLT) routine pilot report (UA); Over - route between CLT to Knoxville, TN (TYS); Time - 1352; Flight level - 22,000 feet; type aircraft - Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ2) multiengine commuter aircraft; Icing - negative; Remarks - instrument meteorological conditions encountered the entire trip.

All the pilot reports were from pilots operating on IFR flight plans and indicated icing conditions above 13,000 feet, extensive cloud layers, with IMC conditions.

The NWS Aviation Weather Center (AWC) located in Kansas City, Missouri, issues the area forecasts at regular intervals and issues specials reports as necessary usually in the form of an AIRMET. The synoptic section of the forecast indicated that a strong low-pressure system was moving northeastward and was expected to be in central Kentucky by 2300. A warm front extended across southern Georgia was expected to lift northeastward into southern North Carolina and extreme northern South Carolina by 2300.

The forecast for the North Carolina Piedmont was for broken clouds at 5,000 feet msl, overcast at 10,000 feet, with tops to 25,000 feet, with occasional light rain developing. From 2300, overcast at 2,500 feet with visibility 3 to 5 miles in light rain and mist. From 1300, overcast clouds at 1,500 feet, visibility 3 to 5 miles in light to moderate rain and mist, with widely embedded thunderstorms developing with cumulonimbus cloud tops to 40,000 feet.

The NWS had a full series of Airman's Meteorological Information (AIRMETs) issued at 0945 and current until 1600 for the region for IFR, mountain obscuration, turbulence, and icing conditions, and the accident site was located within the borders of these advisories.

AIRMET Sierra update 2 issued at 0945for IFR and mountain obscuration conditions, valid until 1600. Occasional ceilings below 1,000 feet and/or visibility below 3 miles in precipitation and mist, conditions. Mountains occasional obscured by clouds, precipitation, and mist, with conditions continuing beyond 2000 through 2200.

The closest Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) to the accident site was from Hickory Regional Airport (KHKY) located approximately 20 miles west of the accident site. However, no forecast was current when the pilot of N969ES obtained his preflight weather briefing. The forecast current at the time of the accident was issued at 1116 and was the fourth amendment from the initial 0749 issued forecast

The forecast for KHKY

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.