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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 199474
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SR20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cirrus SR20
Registration: N135CD
MSN: 1022
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Harrison/Wetzel county line, NW of Clarksburg, W. VA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Georgetown, DE (GED)
Destination airport:Flemingsburg, KY (FGX)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Before departing on the instrument flight rules cross-country flight, the instrument-rated private pilot received an official weather briefing which included the latest Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET) valid along the proposed route of flight. While en route at 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl), the controller provided a vector to the pilot to deviate around weather. The pilot accepted the deviation and turned the airplane; shortly thereafter, he reported that the airplane was in an area of moderate-to-heavy precipitation. Several minutes later, the pilot reported that the airplane was clear of the precipitation; he requested and was cleared to resume the on-course heading. The controller subsequently observed the radar return associated with the airplane descending rapidly from 8,000 ft to 5,000 ft before radar contact was lost. Review of the airplane's flight track data showed the airplane descending in a left turn, then making a sharp right turn followed by a sharp left turn; there were no further communications received from the pilot. The wreckage was significantly fragmented, consistent with a high-energy impact and trees in the vicinity of the accident site displayed angular cuts consistent with propeller contact. There was no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

A cold frontal boundary just west of the accident site provided a moderately unstable environment for the formation of thunderstorms along the route of flight. Review of weather information indicated that the pilot was operating in instrument meteorological conditions and likely turbulence associated with the thunderstorm activity. These conditions are known to be conducive to the development of spatial disorientation. Additionally, the airplane's series of descents and changes in direction before being lost from radar and the evidence of a high-energy impact are consistent with the known effects of spatial disorientation and a subsequent loss of control.

Probable Cause: The pilot's loss of airplane control due to spatial disorientation while flying in instrument meteorological conditions in the vicinity of adverse weather conditions.



FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 7 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

28 Feb 2013 N135CD Private 0 Brunswick, GA sub



Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

06-Sep-2017 23:36 Geno Added
06-Sep-2017 23:40 Geno Updated [Narrative]
08-Sep-2017 05:34 Geno Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Damage, Narrative]
22-Apr-2020 17:00 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]
22-Apr-2020 17:27 harro Updated [Source, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]

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