NTSB Identification: ERA09FA169
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 17, 2009 in Deltona, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/09/2009
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N493DA
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 commercial pilot flight instructor and a commercial pilot receiving instruction departed from Orlando Sanford International Airport on an instructional flight. Approximately 30-40 minutes later witnesses reported seeing the nose of the airplane pitch down vertically and the airplane start to spin. The witnesses added that, just before the airplane disappeared below a tree line, a parachute deployed but did not inflate. Even though the airframe manufacturer did not set a minimum altitude for deployment of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), data suggests that a successful deployment of the system below 900 feet above ground level while an airplane is in a spin is improbable. Review of data downloaded from the multifunction and primary flight displays revealed that prior to the initiation of the accident sequence, the airplane was maneuvering between 3,257 feet and 3,131 feet, heading between 078 degrees to 064 degrees. The engine rpm varied between 2,440 rpm to 1,050 rpm. The indicated airspeed varied between 50 to 75 knots. About 31 seconds before the accident, the engine rpm increased to 2,500 rpm and the airplane's indicated airspeed was 54 knots. The Pilot's Operating Handbook states the airplane will stall at an indicated airspeed of 61 knots with a 0 degree angle of bank and flaps at 50 percent. Examination of the wreckage revealed the flaps were 50 percent at impact. In addition, no anomalies were noted with the airframe, flight controls, CAPS, engine assembly, or engine accessories.

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

The pilot receiving instruction's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's inadequate supervision and both pilots' failure to deploy the ballistic parachute at a higher altitude.

Full narrative available

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