Accident Cirrus SR22 GTS X G3 Turbo N878SR, Sunday 1 September 2019
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Date:Sunday 1 September 2019
Time:14:20 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic SR22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cirrus SR22 GTS X G3 Turbo
Registration: N878SR
MSN: 2778
Year of manufacture:2007
Total airframe hrs:3442 hours
Engine model:Continental IO-550-N27B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:South of Foley, Baldwin County, AL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Gulf Shores-Edwards Airport, AL (GUF/KJKA)
Destination airport:Vidalia, LA (0R4)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The private pilot was climbing the airplane to cruise altitude when the engine lost total power. His attempts to restore power were unsuccessful, and about 1,200 ft above ground level, the passenger activated the airplane's parachute system (CAPS pull #105). The airplane descended under parachute and landed upright in a field, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage. The pilot and passengers were not injured. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that 11 of the teeth on the camshaft gear were fractured, with 3 of the teeth exhibiting fracture features consistent with fatigue.

The accident airplane was manufactured in 2007, and in 2015, its engine was replaced with an older, overhauled engine. At the time the replacement engine was overhauled, a manufacturer service bulletin was in effect that specified that the camshaft gear should be replaced by an improved camshaft gear. During the engine overhaul, the older, thinner camshaft gear was re-installed with an enhanced inspection performed by the inspection overhaul facility instead of replacing it with the improved gear.

In March 2017, in anticipation of an FAA airworthiness directive, the engine manufacturer elevated the service bulletin to a mandatory service bulletin (MSB) whose purpose was 'to eliminate possibility of gear tooth fracture.' The MSB called for camshaft gear replacement 'within 100-hours of operation, at the next engine overhaul (not to exceed 12 years engine time in service), or whenever camshaft gear is accessible, whichever occurs first.'

In April 2017, the engine overhaul facility distributed a service letter indicating that the MSB did not apply to engines overhauled at their facility if engine logbook inspection revealed a logbook entry referencing the alternate means of compliance with the MSB. Review of the accident airplane logbook included this entry at overhaul.

In July 2017, the engine manufacturer downgraded the MSB to a critical service bulletin (CSB). The CSB recommended recurring inspections of all unimproved camshaft gears at annual or 100-hour intervals until the unimproved gears had been replaced with improved gears. Between the time this service bulletin was issued and the accident, the airplane had undergone two annual inspections, and the airplane's maintenance logs contained no entries noting that this inspection had been completed or that the unimproved camshaft gear had been replaced. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed about 3 days before the accident.

Following the accident, the maintenance facility clarified that they did not perform the inspection detailed by the CSB because they assumed that the airplane, due to its date of manufacture, would not have been equipped with a camshaft gear subject to the CSB. They also stated that the manufacturer's CSB requiring recurring inspection was not applicable to older, thinner configuration camshaft gears that they had previously inspected and installed during overhaul per their approved alternate means of compliance with the CSB.

Probable Cause: Total loss of engine power due to a fatigue failure of the camshaft gear.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA19LA264
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 6 months
Download report: Final report


FAA register:


Revision history:

02-Sep-2019 03:51 Geno Added
03-Sep-2019 17:56 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
03-Sep-2019 20:28 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Narrative]
04-Sep-2019 09:47 RobertMB Updated [Narrative]
11-Sep-2019 02:55 Geno Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
01-Jul-2022 17:39 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
01-Jul-2022 18:43 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]

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