NTSB Identification: NYC02LA071.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 16, 2002 in Lexington, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/17/2003
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp. SR-20, registration: N244CD
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The instrument rated pilot and passenger departed into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and intended to practice some instrument approaches. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported a turn coordinator failure. The turn coordinator indicated a left bank regardless of control inputs and the pilot became disoriented. The airplane was equipped with a Cirrus Airplane Parachute System (CAPS). The pilot stated he pulled the CAPS activation handle repeatedly; however, the cable did not extend and "nothing seemed to happen." The airplane broke out of the cloud layer, and the pilot performed an emergency landing to a field. Witnesses near the accident site reported that the CAPS parachute deployed after ground contact. Post accident testing of the wreckage did not reveal any pre-impact instrumentation, or autopilot failures. The CAPS system also functioned normally; however, it was noted that the pull forces to activate the CAPS parachute varied significantly.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. Factors in this accident were the undetermined failure of the turn coordinator, as reported by the pilot, and the instrument meteorological conditions.

Full narrative available

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