On July 26, 2008, about 1545 central daylight time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, N620SR, was destroyed on impact with terrain during an aborted landing on runway 29 (2,801 feet by 75 feet, dry asphalt) at the Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), near Watertown, Wisconsin. A post impact fire occurred. The personal flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The private pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries and were transported to a hospital. The flight originated about 1445 from the Foster Field Airport, near Apple River, Illinois, and was destined for RYV. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot was telephone interviewed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. The pilot stated that he entered a full traffic pattern for runway 29. The pilot said that the approached was at 70 to 80 knots and it looked good up to the runway numbers. In the interview he indicated that during flare the mains touched first and the airplane "bounced like a ball straight up, really high." He said that he had bounced in a Cessna 172 and this was something he had never experienced before in a Cirrus.
The pilot reported that he elected to let the airplane settle and added a little power to stop the bounce. The airplane bounced again and this time he did not add power and let it settle. The airplane bounced a third time and he stated that he was about two thirds of the way down the runway. At this point he elected to perform a go around. The engine responded "right away" to his throttle application of full power. He stated he realized he was "low and slow" and was not getting any lift with the throttle at full power. Realizing he was going to crash, he stated that he looked for an area without people. The pilot recalled that he thought he stalled the airplane and it impacted at full power. The pilot did not recall if the seat belt airbags deployed during the impact.
A witness who was an airline pilot, in part, stated:
After the crash, we started towards the site, but I
cautioned several near me of the rocket installed for
the CAPS [Cirrus Airframe Parachute System] system and
we stood back. The line crew responded and was
apparently able to remove the occupants of the aircraft
from the scene before the EMS crews arrived. As the
airframe burned, three "pops" were heard, apparently
tires, then a large explosion [scattered] burning debris
as far away as the [Seneca] parked south of the eastern
most hangar row. This was thought to be the rocket and
the crews moved in. In hind sight it was the O2 tank
and the rocket cooked off shortly there after, launching
about 35' in the air and shooting directly north in front
of the FBO [fixed base operator] and into the grass near
the departure end of runway 29.
The pilot held a FAA private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He held a third-class medical certificate issued on November 27, 2007. The pilot attended Cirrus SR22 factory training in January 2008. The pilot recorded 234.8 hours of total flight time in his logbook.
N620SR, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, serial number 2545, was a four-place single engine low wing airplane powered by a six-cylinder, 310-horsepower, Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) model IO-550-N engine that drove a three-bladed Hartzell constant speed propeller.
At 1535, the recorded weather at RYV was: Wind 290 degrees at 10 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 27 degree C; dew point 17 degrees C; altimeter 29.96 inches of mercury.
The airplane contained non-volatile memory chips in its avionics. The avionics were damaged in the ground fire and no data was recoverable from the chips.
An on-scene examination of the wreckage was conducted by a FAA inspector and an airplane manufacturer's safety representative. The examination revealed no pre-impact anomalies.