NTSB Identification: CEN09FA220
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, March 19, 2009 in El Dorado, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA AIRCRAFT CO E162, registration: N162CE
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 was conducting spin testing in an experimental, pre-production, light sport airplane. The airplane was equipped with a non-production Ballistic Recovery System (BRS) chute which was modified to allow for chute jettison after chute deployment. During a full aft center of gravity (CG) test flight, the airplane was placed in a left spin. The pilot attempted to recover from the spin but was unsuccessful. The pilot described the spin as "uncontrollable." After three turns the pilot elected to deploy the BRS, as per the briefed procedures. After BRS deployment, the airplane continued to spin, twisting the BRS chute attachment straps. The pilot attempted to jettison the chute, but could not due to the twisting of the straps. The parachute-equipped pilot remained with the airplane until it reached the ground in the BRS chute. The airplane was substantially damaged when it was drug by the chute in surface winds. The winds four minutes after the accident, 30 miles to the southwest, were reported as being at 14 knots, gusting to 23 knots. After the accident the manufacturer made design changes to the airplane's elevator, aileron, and rudder systems to improve the airplane's spin recovery capabilities.

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

The failure of the Ballistic Recovery System to disconnect due to twisted attachment straps.

Full narrative available

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