NTSB Identification: NYC08FA138
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 14, 2008 in Front Royal, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/05/2009
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp SR22, registration: N141SR
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot departed from runway 27 on a night instrument flight rules flight in marginal visual meteorological conditions. Rising mountainous terrain was located west of the departure airport. The pilot's first waypoint was located northeast of the airport. There was no record of the pilot previously departing the airport at night. Recorded data from the airplane's primary flight display showed that during controlled flight just prior to impact the airplane was climbing and accelerating, reaching a pressure altitude of approximately 2,200 feet mean sea level (msl) and an indicated airspeed of 140 knots. About 6 seconds before the end of the recording, the airplane began a steep descending turn to the left (roll attitude reached a peak value of 95 degrees left wing down, pitch attitude reached a peak of about 27 degrees nose down). The airplane collided with the rising terrain, about 4 miles west of the airport, at about the 1,200 msl level while on a southerly heading. Recorded weather about the time of the accident included a broken ceiling at 2,400 feet, overcast ceiling at 3,000 feet, visibility 3 miles in rain, and winds from 340 degrees at 4 knots. Examination of the airplane, airplane systems, engine, and propeller did not reveal any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from rising mountainous terrain, and his failure to turn toward his assigned course during initial climb. Contributing to the accident were the low ceiling, reduced visibility, dark night conditions, and rising mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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