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N5205X accident description

Connecticut map... Connecticut list
Crash location 40.736666°N, 72.649444°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Hartford, CT
41.765933°N, 72.683426°W
71.1 miles away
Tail number N5205X
Accident date 05 Oct 2007
Aircraft type Cirrus Design SR22
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On October 5, 2007, about 1445 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus Design SR22, N5205X, was substantially damaged when it struck four parked airplanes while taxiing after landing at Hartford-Brainard Airport (HFD), Hartford, Connecticut. The certificated private pilot and a passenger were uninjured. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed.

According to the pilot, he landed on runway 2, and was instructed to taxi to parking via taxiways A and B. The pilot exited the runway onto taxiway A. After he made a right turn from taxiway A onto taxiway B, the pilot was guided by marshallers, who used hand signals to convey further instructions.

Due to an aviation convention being held in the area, additional aircraft were present, and were parked on the grass along the right (north) side of taxiway B. While progressing along taxiway B, the right wingtip of the accident airplane struck the propeller and spinner of an unoccupied SR22 that was parked facing the taxiway. The pilot stated that while taxiing, he kept his hand on the throttle, and that the impact with other airplane pushed his hand forward, which resulted in increased engine rpm. The accident airplane then turned rapidly to the right, and struck three additional parked airplanes. In total, four airplanes were substantially damaged, and one airplane sustained minor damage.

In a written statement, the individual who was marshalling the accident airplane stated that he "told aircraft to slow down using hand signals" and that the accident airplane "continued approximately 300 feet," until it collided with the parked airplane. The passenger on the accident airplane stated that at the time of the initial collision, the airplane was traveling at a speed of approximately 10 to 12 knots, and that just prior to the initial collision, he informed the pilot that he was "too far to the right."

In a postaccident statement, the pilot wrote, "the fact that [he] was on the taxiway centerline gave [him] a false sense of security that [he] would clear [the] parked aircraft. This was further reaffirmed by the fact that [his] right wingtip cleared the first parked aircraft with room to spare," and that after clearing the first airplane, his "gaze and attention shifted" to the marshaller directing him along the taxiway to the parking spot. He then stated that he "failed to recognize that the subsequent aircraft were parked much closer to the taxiway," and that the airplane would not clear the other airplanes unless he deviated significantly from the taxiway centerline. The pilot did not report any brake or steering system malfunctions, and there was no indication that the marshaller signaled the pilot to deviate from the centerline to avoid the collision.


According to information provided by the pilot and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot had approximately 1,100 total hours of flight experience, with approximately 600 hours in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot reported 25 hours of flight experience in the 90 days preceding the accident. His most recent flight review was in June 2007, and his most recent third-class medical certificate was issued in September 2007.


Maintenance records for the accident airplane indicated that the last annual inspection was accomplished in December 2006, and as of that date, the airplane total time in service was 855 hours. The annual signoff also noted that Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2006-21-03 was complied with at that time, and contained the notation "Brake caliper overheat damage by replacement of O-rings."

Airworthiness Directive 2006-21-03 required the replacement of the brake caliper O-ring seals with new model seals, the addition of temperature indicator stickers, certain wheel fairing modifications, and a modification to the Pilots Operating Handbook (POH). The POH modification added a "CAUTION" note to the "Normal Procedures" preflight checklist which stated, "Clean and inspect temperature indicator installed to piston housing. If center is black, the brake assembly has been overheated. The brake linings must be inspected and the O-rings replaced." The AD was intended to detect, correct, and prevent overheating damage to the brake caliper piston O-ring seals, which could result in loss of braking and subsequent loss of airplane directional control on the ground.


The 1453 HFD surface weather observation reported winds from 200 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 29 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 18 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.22 inches of mercury.


Examination of the airplanes and the accident site was conducted by several FAA inspectors. The accident airplane was equipped with two temperature-sensitive indicating decals, one affixed to each brake piston housing (caliper). The temperature indicator for the right brake caliper was white, and the indicator for the left caliper was dark gray. No pre or postaccident indications of leaking brake fluid or other brake failures were observed.

At the time of the accident, no airplanes were parked on the left side of the taxiway, across from the Cirrus SR22 (N15CX ) that was struck. The Cirrus SR22 (N15CX), Socata (N726TB) and a Beech (N902AT) were parked facing taxiway B, while a Cessna (N2918E) was parked with its tail to taxiway B. The accident airplane sustained substantial damage to its propeller and both wings. The Cirrus SR22 (N15CX) sustained damage to its propeller and spinner, and the Socata sustained damage to the left side of its fuselage. The Beech sustained damage to its left wing, and the Cessna sustained damage to its empennage.

The taxiway B width was measured to be 30 feet 4 inches, and the wingspan of the accident airplane was 38 feet 4 inches. The landing gear tread of the accident airplane was measured to be 11 feet, and the first skidmark, from the left main tire of the accident airplane, was measured to be 4 feet 6 inches to the left of the taxiway centerline. The spinner of the Cirrus SR22 (N15CX) was measured to be 19 feet 7 inches from the taxiway centerline. The other airplanes were displaced from their preimpact locations.


Parametric data, including time, position and engine parameters, was downloaded from a memory chip by National Transportation Safety Board recorders laboratory personnel. Examination revealed that the data depicted the flight, landing, and a portion of the taxi-in, but ended prior to the collision.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance from a parked airplane while taxiing. Contributing to the accident was the proximity of the parked airplanes to the taxiway and the failure of the marshaller to provide adequate guidance.

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