Accident Cirrus SR20 N869CD, Friday 17 August 2007
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Date:Friday 17 August 2007
Type:Silhouette image of generic SR20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cirrus SR20
Registration: N869CD
MSN: 1421
Year of manufacture:2004
Total airframe hrs:371 hours
Engine model:Continental IO-360
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Siassconset, MA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:KHPN
Destination airport:KACK
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Cirrus SR20, N869CD registered to a private owner, deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) after encountering instrument flight conditions (IFR) while descending to land at Nantucket Memorial Airport, Massachusetts. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

The non-instrument rated pilot was conducting a night VFR flight to his destination airport. As the pilot neared the airport, he initiated a descent and established radio contact with the control tower. The controller pointed out traffic and instructed the pilot to continue for runway 24. The pilot continued his descent and was informed by the controller that the airport was changing to IFR and instructed the pilot to contact approach control. A low layer of clouds had moved into the area. The pilot contacted the approach controller and asked if he could perform the ILS runway 24 approach. The controller started vectoring the pilot for a left downwind, and asked the pilot if he was instrument qualified and current. The pilot replied, "We are IFR qualified," even though he was not. The controller informed the pilot to turn left to a heading and the pilot responded by saying he was turning right The controller again instructed the pilot to turn to the left, expect the ILS runway 24 approach, and to advise that he had the current airport information. The pilot responded by saying he was turning right and that he would pick up the airport information. The controller informed the pilot that it was not a right turn, and informed the pilot he had turned in the wrong direction on the last turn and to turn to the left.
The pilot replied that he was turning to the left to the assigned heading. The controller asked the pilot what his type of airplane was, and the pilot replied, "Cirrus I had to pull the parachute." The pilot stated in an interview with the NTSB that he was struggling to keep the airplane level; he was in instrument conditions, in a black hole without a visible horizon or ambient light, and that he became spatially disoriented and pulled the parachute.

Probable Cause and Findings
The non-instrument rated pilot's loss of control at night in instrument flight conditions due to spatial disorientation. A factor was the pilot's in-flight decision not to inform the controller that he was not instrument rated.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ATL07LA115
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

18-Jul-2022 07:53 harro Added
18-Jul-2022 07:53 harro Updated

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