Airframe Chute Used To Save Another Pilot
While accidents like this one will do little to quiet the
pro-chute/anti-chute controversy that has arisen since Alan
Klapmeier made the gutsy decision to include the BRS airplane
chute with every Cirrus, there is little doubt here that this pilot
thought he was in severe trouble -- and used the chute to save him
from what was likely to be a pretty poor outcome. A save is a save
is a save...
NTSB Identification: CEN11LA164
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 30, 2011 in Bennett, CO
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N787CB
Injuries: 1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when
the final report has been completed.
On January 30, 2011, about 0558 Mountain Standard Time, a Cirrus
SR-22, N787CB, sustained substantial damaged after impacting
terrain near Bennett, Colorado, following the activation of the
Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The airplane was
registered to Fitch Bergner Aviation LLC, and operated by the
pilot. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14
Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Visual
meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
The solo private pilot reported minor injuries. The local flight
originated from the Centennial Airport (APA), Denver, Colorado.
According to the pilot, he was practicing night instrument
approaches at Front Range Airport (FTG). He requested and received
air traffic control clearance to fly a practice GPS 35 approach at
FTG under his own navigation from the “AVNEW”
intersection, which is the initial approach fix. Upon reaching
AVNEW, the pilot initiated a right turn toward the next approach
fix (HRMER intersection). During the right turn, the pilot stated
that he looked to his right to cross check the GPS and set up the
autopilot for a coupled approach. He then said that he felt the
airplane start to accelerate rapidly and he looked back to the
Primary Flight Display (PFD) which was “showing all brown
with no sky and 6-7 chevrons, indicating a severe unusual
attitude.” The pilot tried to correct the unusual attitude,
but said that he had severe vertigo and was unable to regain
control of the airplane. He elected to deploy the ballistic
recovery parachute, and the aircraft impacted terrain in a nose low
attitude in a creek bed.
Examination of the airplane at the accident site by the NTSB
investigator-in-charge (IIC) revealed that the front cowling was
crushed aft and the engine firewall showed impact damage and
buckling. Further examination of the airframe and systems are