Accident Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II N280KL, Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Date:Wednesday 12 May 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II
Owner/operator:Key Lime Air
Registration: N280KL
MSN: TC-280
Year of manufacture:1978
Total airframe hrs:29525 hours
Cycles:37895 flights
Engine model:Garrett TPE331-10UA-511G
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, written off
Location:5,9km N of Denver-Centennial Airport, CO (APA) -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Salida Airport, CO (SLT/KANK)
Destination airport:Denver-Centennial Airport, CO (APA/KAPA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A privately registered Cirrus SR22 (N416DJ) and a Key Lime Air Swearingen Metro II (N280KL) collided on approach to Denver-Centennial Airport, Colorado, USA.
The Cirrus departed Denver-Centennial Airport (APA) for a local flight about 09:21, and the Metro II departed the Salida Airport (SLT) about 09:56.
The Cirrus was performing a right-hand traffic pattern for runway 17R at APA, and N280KL was on final approach for runway 17L at APA, when the collision occurred. Both airplanes were in communication with air traffic control during their respective approaches to the airport.
About 10:22:43, the Metro II was about 5.5 nm from APA and had completed a right turn to align with the final approach course to runway 17L. At this same time, the Cirrus was on the downwind leg of the right-hand traffic pattern for runway 17R just before he commenced a right turn to the base leg of the traffic pattern. The Metro continued its approach and remained aligned with runway 17L. The Cirrus continued the right-hand traffic pattern through the base leg, and then began to turn toward the final approach course for the runway. The airplanes collided at 10:23:53 when they were about 3.2 nm from APA. The Metro was aligned with runway 17L while the Cirrus was turning from base to final and heading about 146° when the collision occurred.
After the impact, N280KL declared an emergency, continued to APA, and landed successfully on runway 17L without further incident. The Cirrus pilot reported that the airplane was not controllable after the impact and he deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The aircraft came to rest about 3 nm north of APA.

Probable Cause and Findings:
The Cirrus pilot’s failure to maintain the final approach course for the assigned runway, which resulted in a collision with the Swearingen which was on final approach to the parallel runway.
Contributing to the accident was the failure of the controller to issue a traffic advisory to the Swearingen pilot regarding the location of Cirrus, and the Cirrus pilot’s decision to fly higher than recommended approach speed which resulted in a larger turn radius and contributed to his overshoot of the final approach course.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN21FA215
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Download report: Final report


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

9 March 1982 N323BA Britt Airways 0 South Bend, IN min
11 December 1986 N323BA Britt Airways 0 Paducah, KY min



photo (c) L1011TRISTAR; Denver-Centennial Airport, CO (APA/KAPA); 12 May 2021

photo (c) NTSB; Denver-Centennial Airport, CO (APA/KAPA); 12 May 2021

photo (c) NTSB; Denver-Centennial Airport, CO (APA/KAPA); 12 May 2021

Revision history:


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