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N214BN accident description

Minnesota map... Minnesota list
Crash location 45.061667°N, 93.352500°W
Nearest city Crystal, MN
45.032742°N, 93.360229°W
2.0 miles away
Tail number N214BN
Accident date 16 Jun 2009
Aircraft type Cirrus Design Corporation SR22
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On June 16, 2009, at 2202 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N214BN, collided with the terrain following a loss of control while landing on runway 14L (3,263 feet by 75 feet wet asphalt) at the Crystal Airport (MIC), Crystal, Minnesota. The instrument rated private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was consumed by post impact fire. The personal/business flight was being operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. An instrument flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. The last leg of the cross country flight originated at the Downtown-Wheeler Airport (MKC), Kansas City, Missouri, at approximately 1918. (All times are central daylight times unless noted.)

According to information received from interviews and a FlightAware Activity Log, the first leg of the trip originated in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where the airplane departed from the Gwinnett County Airport (LZU) at 1235 eastern daylight time. The airplane arrived at the Memphis International Airport (MEM), Memphis, Tennessee, at 1339. the airplane departed MEM at 1558, and arrived at MKC at 1827. Records show the airplane was fueled with 37 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel at MKC prior to departing for MIC.

At 2153, the pilot contacted MIC tower stating that he was outside OYNOP, the initial approach fix for the global positioning system (GPS) RWY 14L approach. The local controller asked the pilot if he was going to perform a missed approach or if he was going to make a full stop and the pilot replied, “stop.” The controller then instructed the pilot to report having the airport in sight.

At 2158, the local controller cleared N214BN to land and asked the pilot how bright he wanted the lights to be. The pilot replied that he wanted them a little brighter than they were at the time and that it was a little hard to see the field. The pilot reported being at ZUNBE, the final approach fix, and that he was starting his descent. The controller replied that the lights were on “full blast.” The pilot replied, “ok” and the controller instructed the pilot to key the mike if he wanted the lights dimmer.

The MIC control tower closes at 2200, and at 2159, the ground controller made the closing announcement over the tower frequency. Shortly thereafter, the pilot radioed that he had the runway in sight. The controller replied, “roger.” There were no further transmissions from the aircraft.

The local controller reported that the airplane appeared to have landed on runway 14L at which time he and the two other controllers departed the tower for the night. All three controllers stated the first they knew of the accident was when they reached the parking lot outside the tower and saw the aircraft engulfed in flames.

A Lieutenant Colonel with the Civil Air Patrol was exiting a building on the south side of the airport when the accident occurred. He reported that he heard the airplane and that the engine was very loud. He then heard the engine power increase as if the pilot was performing a “go-around.” He stated he heard the impact and looked toward runway 14L where he saw the airplane engulfed in flames. The witness stated there was “moderate to heavy” rain at the time of the accident.

Another witness, who was on the southeast side of the airport perimeter stated he saw the airplane coming in from the north and watched it as it attempted to land. He reported the airplane turned over on its right side, appeared to stall, and impacted the ground.


The pilot, age 60, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument ratings. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical was issued on September 3, 2008. The medical certificate contained the limitation “Holder shall wear corrective lenses.”

The pilot’s family stated that his logbooks were in the airplane at the time of the accident. The logbooks were not located amongst the burned wreckage. The pilot received his instrument airplane rating on February 23, 2009. On the application for that rating, which was dated February 20, 2009, the pilot reported having 505 hours of total flight time. This included 388 hours of flight time in a Cirrus SR-22, and 38 hours of night flight time. The airplane owner stated the accident pilot was the one who flew the SR22 most frequently.


The airplane was a 2004-model Cirrus SR22, serial number 1137. The SR22 is a four-place, single-engine, low wing, composite structure airplane. The airplane was equipped from the factory with an Avidyne FlightMax multi-function flight display (MFD), an Avidyne FlightMax primary flight display (PFD), and a S-Tec System 55X autopilot. The airplane was also equipped with a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).

The airplane was equipped with a fuel-injected, Teledyne Continental IO-550-N(27), 310-horsepower engine, serial number 917356. It was also equipped with a three-bladed, constant speed, Hartzell propeller.

According to the aircraft owner, the aircraft logbooks were in the airplane at the time of the accident. Small, burnt pieces of what appeared to be aircraft logbooks were located amongst the wreckage. Records obtained from the fixed base operator that maintained the airplane showed the last annual inspection was completed on October 29, 2008. The aircraft and engine total times at the time of the last annual inspection were both listed as being 689.4 hours.

The aircraft owner stated he purchased the airplane in 2004. He stated that Cirrus leased the airplane from him at the time of purchase. He stated the airplane had 270 hours of flight time on it when he took delivery of it in October 2005.


The weather conditions reported at MIC at 2153 were: Wind from 080 degrees at 3 knots; visibility 3 statute miles; light rain and mist; overcast clouds at 4,200 feet; temperature 17 degree Celsius; dew point 17 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.90 inches of mercury.

The weather conditions reported at MIC at 2209 were: Wind from 100 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 4 statute miles; rain and mist; overcast clouds at 4,400 feet; temperature 17 degree Celsius; dew point 17 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.90 inches of mercury


The airplane came to rest in a grass area located approximately 266 feet south of taxiway Alpha and 138 feet east of runway 14L. There was no debris on the runway, nor were there any marks on the runway that could be attributed to the airplane. There were no marks in the grass between the runway and the first impact mark. Four terrain impact marks led up to the main wreckage. These marks were along a magnetic heading of 74 degrees and covered a distance of about 30 feet. The first mark was approximately 100 feet east of runway 14L and it consisted of a slash type mark which was about 27 inches in length. This was closely followed by a 12 inch long impact mark which contained red glass. The third mark was approximately 45 inches long and 6 inches deep. This mark also contained red glass along with pieces of hardware from the left wing navigational light. The last mark was about 10 feet 7 inches long.

The main wreckage came to rest inverted on a magnetic heading of 134 degrees. The fuselage area was destroyed by the post impact fire. The empennage was separated from the fuselage. The empennage exhibited impact and fire damage; however, the stabilizers and flight control surfaces remained attached to the empennage. Both elevator control cables remained attached at the forward elevator torque tube. The upper elevator cable separated from the empennage elevator bellcrank and the lower elevator cable remained attached. The rudder cables remained attached to the torque tubes on the rudder pedals. The upper rudder cable remained attached to the rudder bellcrank in the empennage, and the lower cable had separated from the bellcrank.

The right wing which remained partially attached to the fuselage, sustained impact and fire damage. The right aileron remained attached to the wing as did the outboard portion of the right flap. The inboard portion of the right wing flap was destroyed by fire. The left wing was folded over the fuselage and found near the right wing. The left wingtip, aileron, and flap were separated from the remainder of the wing which was destroyed by fire. The brass portion on two of the three aileron turnbuckles was melted away. The forward, left, and right aileron cables were in place.

The roll trim motor and cartridge were separated from the wing. The trim motor shaft was bent and the actuator arm was positioned in an almost full right trim position.

The CAPS rocket motor was located near the horizontal stabilizer. Portions of the rocket motor launch tube were located about 30 feet in front of the main wreckage. About 8 to 10 inches of the activation cable remained attached to the igniter assembly for the CAPS rocket motor. The parachute remained folded and had not been deployed.

One propeller blade had gouges on both the leading and trailing edges. The blade contained chordwise scratches on both sides of the blade. The blade exhibited slight “S” bending and it was rotated past the stops in the hub in the high pitch direction. The second blade was loose in the propeller hub and the blade was bent forward beginning near the blade hub. The third blade contained leading edge polishing and chordwise scratches along with a slight forward bend. The propeller spinner exhibited rotational crushing.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe. Impact damage was visible on the exhaust system, the induction system, the oil sump, fuel injection nozzles, number 2 alternator, and the starter. The ignition harness, magnetos, fuel pump, oil sump, and both alternators sustained heat damage. Neither magneto would produce a spark when turned by hand. The magnetos were opened and extensive internal heat damage was visible. The fuel pump rotated with some binding when turned by hand. The fuel pump was opened and internal heat damage was visible. The mixture lever was bound in position near the full rich stop. The fuel manifold contained fuel and a slight amount of debris in the screen. The spark plugs indicated normal wear. The crankshaft was rotated by hand at which time continuity was established throughout the engine.

The flash memory module from the multi-function display and the memory card from the primary flight display were removed and sent to the Safety Board recorders laboratory. Both units were too badly burned to retrieve any information from them.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot on June 17, 2009, by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. The autopsy report listed the cause of death as “Multiple Blunt Force Injuries Due to Airplane Crash.”

Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Reports were prepared for the pilot by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results for all tests conducted were negative with the exception of 0.012 (ug/ml, ug/g) Oxazepam which was detected in urine. Oxazepam was not detected in the blood.


The airplane’s flight path was reconstructed using radar track data. Around 2155, while at an altitude of 3,000 feet mean seal level (msl), the airplane made a turn to the southeast toward MIC. The airplane’s ground speed at that time was about 100 knots. The airplane then began a descent. Altitude and ground speed continued to decrease until 2158 when the ground speed increased to a maximum of 121 knots at 2200, prior to decreasing again. The last radar contact occurred at 2201:15 at an altitude of 1,100 feet msl (approximately 230 feet above ground level) and a ground speed of 81 knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed which resulted in a loss of aircraft control during a go-around. Factors associated with the accident were the dark night lighting conditions, moderate to heavy rain, and fatigue.

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