NTSB Identification: ERA14LA086
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 04, 2014 in Buckhannon, WV
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N450TX
Injuries: 1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On January 4, 2014 about 1735 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR22, N450TX, was substantially damaged after the pilot deployed its Cirrus Airplane Parachute System (CAPS) and impacted a motor vehicle and then terrain in Buckhannon, West Virginia. The private pilot received minor injuries. The flight departed from Donegal Springs Airpark (N71) Marietta, Pennsylvania, about 1405, destined for Upshur County Regional Airport (W22), Buckhannon, West Virginia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the pilot, he departed N71, around 1405. About 10 miles from W22, the pilot called in on the UNICOM frequency, and verified the weather conditions. He was advised that there was no aircraft in the traffic pattern, so he opted for a straight in approach to runway 29.
About 5 miles from touchdown, he was at an approach speed of approximately 100 knots indicated airspeed. He performed his prelanding checklist. Both fuel tanks had approximately 25 gallons of fuel in them and he verified that the fuel selector was on fullest tank. He verified that the fuel boost pump was on, lowered the wing flaps to 50 percent, and set the mixture to about 60 percent. He then made a final approach call around 4 miles from touchdown, and verified the airport conditions on UNICOM once again.
Approximately 3 miles from the threshold of runway 29, at 400 to 500 feet above ground level, he increased throttle to compensate for the normal airspeed loss on final approach. To his surprise, nothing happened. He was expecting to hear a pitch change, feel a subtle change in vibration, and see his airspeed stabilize but, none of those events occurred.
He moved his hand in a manner to manipulate both throttle and mixture at the same time and increased both to maximum. Again, no response in engine noise, vibration, or gain in airspeed occurred.
By now the indicated airspeed had decayed to below 80 knots. Knowing that he was just at, or just below, the published minimums for the CAPS, without hesitation he reached for the red handle with my right hand while maintaining control of the airplane with his left hand as he deployed the CAPS and transmitted a "Mayday" call over the radio. After the CAPS was deployed, all he had time to do was to tighten his restraint prior to impact. After impact he shutdown the airplane's systems, and exited the airplane.
Postaccident examination of the accident site and airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector revealed that during the impact sequence, the airplane first struck a pickup truck, then terrain, and sustained substantial damage prior to coming to rest. The left main landing gear had penetrated the bottom of the left wing and left main fuel tank, the nose landing gear had separated from the airplane, two of the blades on the four-bladed propeller were bent back, the right wing flap was bent back on the outboard portion, and the fuselage was damaged from the CAPS deployment.
The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.
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