Accident Cirrus SR22 N5PF, Sunday 27 December 2015
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Date:Sunday 27 December 2015
Type:Silhouette image of generic SR22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cirrus SR22
Registration: N5PF
MSN: 1904
Year of manufacture:2006
Total airframe hrs:1540 hours
Engine model:Continental IO-550-N
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:SE Watertown, SW of Ixonia, WI -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Watertown, WI (RYV)
Destination airport:Kenosha, WI (ENW)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The private pilot had spent several hours flying practice instrument approaches to various airports. He stated that he became distracted and failed to monitor the airplane’s fuel state. His normal habit was to alternate between the airplane’s wing fuel tanks every 30 minutes; however, he did not perform this action during the last hour of the accident flight. Shortly after takeoff to return to his home airport in night visual meteorological conditions, the airplane’s engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot turned back toward the departure airport, but the airplane did not have sufficient altitude to complete a power-off glide to the runway. The pilot stated that he did not switch the airplane’s fuel selector following the loss of engine power. About 344 ft above ground level, the pilot activated the airplane’s airframe parachute system. The low-altitude activation resulted in an incomplete deployment of the parachute and a nose-down impact with the ground, during which the pilot sustained serious injury.
The pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. Postaccident examination revealed that the airplane’s fuel system was intact. The right wing tank, which was selected, contained about 21 oz of fuel, and the left wing tank contained about 22 gallons. Therefore, the total loss of engine power was consistent with fuel starvation.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s improper in-flight fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to switch fuel tanks after the engine lost power, and his delayed decision to activate the airframe parachute system, which resulted in his serious injury due to incomplete deployment of the system and the airplane’s improper attitude upon touchdown.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN16LA069
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

28-Dec-2015 01:17 Geno Added
29-Dec-2015 02:27 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
19-Aug-2017 16:15 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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