NTSB Identification: CEN09FA146
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 30, 2009 in Menomonie, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2009
Aircraft: Cirrus Design SR20, registration: N495LV
Injuries: 3 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 private pilot, who had received his instrument rating about one month prior to the accident, departed at night on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. During the weather briefing, the pilot was advised that conditions would be conducive for icing with increasing cloud cover. The pilot departed and climbed to 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl), but about one hour after departure he requested 7,000 feet to get above the cloud tops. On arrival, the pilot was cleared to descend to 4,000 feet msl and to fly direct to the initial approach fix for the destination airport. During the descent, the airplane encountered instrument meteorological conditions. The cloud bases were at 1,100 feet above ground level (agl) near the accident site.

Air traffic control (ATC) asked if the airplane was picking up ice, and the pilot reported that it was not. Radar track data indicated that the airplane started a right turn, and about one minute later the airplane was lost from radar contact. The airplane was destroyed by impact with terrain. Witnesses nearby reported hearing the engine running at a high power setting. The inspection of the airplane and engine did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies. The airplane was not certified for flight into known icing conditions. The airplaneā€™s parachute system was not deployed, and the parachutes' safety pin with the red colored "Remove Before Flight" tag was found in the activation handle, still in the handle holder. The preflight checklist calls for the safety pin to be removed prior to flight.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while flying at night in instrument meteorological conditions.

Full narrative available

Index for Jan2009 | Index of months