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N2711M accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 35.036111°N, 107.367223°W
Nearest city Laguna Pueblo, NM
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Tail number N2711M
Accident date 29 Feb 2016
Aircraft type Cirrus Design Corp SR22
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On February 29, 2016, about 1325 mountain standard time (MST), a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N2711M, descended under the canopy of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) and impacted terrain near Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. The private rated pilot and three passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. The flight departed the Seward Municipal Airport (KSWT), Seward, Nebraska, about 0820 MST, and was en route to the Phoenix Goodyear Airport (KGYR) Goodyear, Arizona; with an en route stop at the Las Vegas Municipal Airport (KLVS), Las Vegas, New Mexico.

The pilot reported that they landed at KLVS, with about 12 gallons of fuel left onboard the airplane. She reported that there were limited services at the airport and only self-serve fuel pumps. She added that one of the passengers helped with the refueling, and they only wanted to take on about 50 gallons of fuel.

One of the passengers reported that the pilot wanted to put 25 gallons in each tank, and she would read the meter. As the meter approached 25 gallons, she yelled to the pilot to stop. She added that the sun was on the fuel meter and it was hard to read. She reported that she didn't think enough time had elapsed to pump 25 gallons, but the pilot stated that the pumps are not like automotive pumps. The pilot moved over to the other fuel tank, and the passenger yelled "stop", at 52 gallons. The passenger also thought that one of the other passengers also read 52 gallons to the pilot, so that it was okay.

The pilot added that she was unable to get a printed sales receipt. The pilot then reported that she did her normal take-off checks, and she and passengers departed for KGYR.

About an hour after departure, and while cruising at 13,000 ft, the engine slowly lost power. The pilot informed the air traffic controller and shortly afterwards the engine stopped. The pilot looked for a plateau area and then deployed the CAPS. The airplane descended and landed near some trees; however, wind caught the parachute and pulled the airplane into the trees; flipping the airplane inverted.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported the airplane had come to rest inverted. The wings had sustained only minor damage; however, the fuselage was buckled. Only the lower part of the engine was accessible and a visual examination of the engine did not reveal any obvious discrepancies.

The inspector obtained a credit card receipt from the fixed based operator (FBO) at KLVS. The receipt indicated that the pilot had purchased 5.23 gallons of fuel.

A review of radar data from FlightAware, revealed that the airplane was at an altitude above 12,500 ft for about 44 minutes, before the airplane descended below 12,500 ft. as a result of the loss of engine power. According to the airplane manufacturer's representative, the airplane was not equipped with a factory installed oxygen system.

A review of the airplane's Pilot Operating Handbook and Airplane Flight Manual (POH), section 7, stated that the airplane is equipped with a fuel quantity indicator on the console, forward of the fuel selector valve; pointers indicate the quantity of fuel in the left and right fuel tanks. Additionally, when the quantity drops below 14 gallons in each tank, a FUEL caution light will illuminate on the annunciator panel.

The Before Takeoff checklist in Section 4, Normal Procedures of the POH, advises Fuel Quantity – Confirm, and Fuel Selector – Fullest tank, before takeoff.

Title 14 Part 91.211 Supplemental oxygen states in part:

(a) General. No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry –

(1) At cabin pressure altitudes above 12,500 feet (MSL) up to and including 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen for that part of the flight at those altitudes that is of more than 30 minutes duration;

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate oversight of the airplane's refueling and her subsequent failure to verify and monitor the fuel quantity before and during the flight.

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