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Cirrus down in Houston

Old 13th Jun 2016, 21:48
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Cirrus down in Houston

Crashed last week, flat spin right on top of a lone car in a lot. Sounds like numerous factors in this one, wind, multiple runway clearances, steady flow of heavy arrivals, multiple conflicting instructions from ATC, and sounds like multiple controllers.

http://www.liveatc.net/forums/atcavi...ch;attach=8903

http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1606/00198AD.PDF

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRXUZnsST5c

Confusion in the cockpit: Radio traffic details pilot's struggles | khou.com
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Old 14th Jun 2016, 06:25
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Awful.

I'd be very interested to know the experience level of the pilot- she sounds a little green.

BUT she was probably of exactly the level of competence required to hold the license she held, and thus perfectly legal to fly where she was flying, only to be put in a situation that was clearly beyond her capabilities by some woeful controlling.
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Old 14th Jun 2016, 17:29
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Yeah lots of confusing instructions there, not sure how she’s ended up in that awful situation where it looks like a flat spin. The last controller seems very helpful as well, I understand these A/C have recovery shoots if it was possible to use one at that height?
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Old 14th Jun 2016, 17:56
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With the gusting easterly wind and the right-hand patterns she was flying, the base leg may have been affected by a tailwind which caused an overshoot of the final approach. A classic set-up for a stall-spin during the final turn.

Poor girl; it's heartbreaking to hear her last transmissions. Trying her best to comply with the ever-changing instructions/suggestions from ATC who were also just trying to be accommodating and helpful. It's a pity that neither party recognised when things were getting a little out of hand. If only someone had said, "look, it's quite busy right now. Why don't we just hold clear of the airfield for five or ten minutes and try again when there is less traffic?"

The difficult thing with regards to people's capacity is to recognise when an invisible line is crossed, especially when one is directly involved and trying to 'finish the job'.

I remember a cartoon which showed an airliner's cockpit. The only instrument was a large dial with a single vertical pointer on it. On the left was 'UNSAFE' and on the right was 'SAFE'. The pilots' job was to keep the pointer to the right. In most accidents there is a time when the pointer moves to the left. If only we could visualise that in our mind's eye.
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Old 14th Jun 2016, 18:25
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Yes, at some point, she should have told the controllers to set her up for RWY 4 ONLY even if it means a 10 mile downwind for sequencing. Eckhard you hit the nail on the head. Terrible accident, and the controllers have to live this one down....
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Old 14th Jun 2016, 20:03
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Her RT was very good. But her experience and judgement were sadly lacking; why on earth did she decide to go into Hobby when it is one of the busiest ....there were any number of smaller airports round Houston. She was in the absolutely wrong place for a light aircraft.
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Old 14th Jun 2016, 20:57
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I think that you all need to bear in mind that the r/t you are listening to will almost certainly be incomplete and not in a proper timeframe.

The gaps having been removed, will create a false impression of how it sounded at the time.

Perhaps the NTSB will eventually release a time stamped transcript.
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Old 14th Jun 2016, 23:57
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I assume ATC favoured having her land on 35 as opposed to 4 ( which would have been a bit better for the winds out of 100) was they did not want to sequence a slow aircraft into the stream of jets heading for 4 and instead we're going to have her cross 4,s approach path for 35. Pity the poor folks in the Cirrus did not go to a more GA type field, she sounded confident but all the vectoring and runway changes must have put her under a heavy workload.
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 08:45
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There's a timeline here. Also some graphic images, so be warned. Very sad.
Kathryn's Report: Cirrus SR20, N4252G, Safe Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred June 09, 2016 near Hobby Airport (KHOU), Houston, Texas
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 08:55
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mary,

I disagree. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with flying into Hobby in a light aircraft, but you need to be comfortable doing it.

However, to me, she didn't sound confident - she continued to use her full call-sign, even after the controllers had abbreviated it and at one point she apologized to the controller.

A very tragic accident, that appears to have been brought about by well-intentioned instructions, combined with a serious error in the final turn.
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 12:25
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I don't think this thread is treating the pilot with any justice or dignity to be honest. In my opinion it is the ATC who sounded inexperienced (with GA anyway), not having a clear plan, not having a full situational awareness.. you don't pressure pilots to make tight turns in a light SEP in gusty winds just because you failed to factor in the fact that not all planes move with the same speed
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 18:55
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Not sure why either ATC didn't send her off orbiting somewhere safe for a bigger window to land in or why they didn't clear off themselves. Trying to keep squeezing in between bigger traffic clearly wasn't working yet both sides carried on. Abit of get their itis on both accounts. Multiple runway changes affecting the pattern directions as well not helping, maybe leading to some level of fatigue and loss of awareness.

Pretty awful all round and imagine the Controller is sadly feeling the effects.
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 20:24
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What's the parachute for in those things?

Or is that only for the use of competent pilots?
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 21:11
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Did she have enough height to safely use the parachute? Did she know she was about to enter a spin? Did she have time to realise she was in a spin? It's unlikely she'd ever done spinning.
PS How much of hours on a Cirrus are possibly on autopilot, reducing hours handflying, and getting the feel of the aircraft.
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 08:49
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Sad string of events; nibbled to death by ducks.
The first duck, it seems, was the rather odd retraction of landing clearance by ATC, substituted by an instruction to go round, and then the ducks lined up and nibbled away, creating ever-mounting cockpit tension, until the basic rule of aviation was broken: fly the aircraft.
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 09:21
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Having flown many GA aircraft, with a fair number of hours in the SR22 (but not the 20) I think it would be only too easy under a high-workload to stall the type, as the controls feel the same (or very similar at least) throughout all speed regimes and you don't get the sloppy feel that you do in other types due to the centering spring...

I remember back to the student in the Cessna at Southend (iirc) a few years ago who got frazzled by ATC and stalled/spun in. So even though this is sadly possible in more "conventional" aircraft, I can certainly see how the Cirrus would make matters worse. That plus the ease of being able to trim with the hat switch as you slow, so can stay in trim and don't feel as though you're pulling back as much.

Obviously, flying the airplane would have stopped this, but the point I'm trying to make, while not Cirrus bashing (as I think they're great) is that with eyes outside, you don't get much in the way of the usual cues when getting slow - hopefully an interesting bit of information for those who haven't flown one.
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Old 16th Jun 2016, 11:28
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Obviously, flying the airplane would have stopped this, but the point I'm trying to make, while not Cirrus bashing (as I think they're great) is that with eyes outside, you don't get much in the way of the usual cues when getting slow - hopefully an interesting bit of information for those who haven't flown one.
Thanks sapperkenno, I have never flown a Cirrus and your information certainly increases my awareness of and understanding of its handling characteristics.

Does the Cirrus have any mechanical (tactile/audio/visual) form of slow flight/stall warning?
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 07:27
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Quote:
Obviously, flying the airplane would have stopped this, but the point I'm trying to make, while not Cirrus bashing (as I think they're great) is that with eyes outside, you don't get much in the way of the usual cues when getting slow - hopefully an interesting bit of information for those who haven't flown one.
Thanks sapperkenno, I have never flown a Cirrus and your information certainly increases my awareness of and understanding of its handling characteristics.

Does the Cirrus have any mechanical (tactile/audio/visual) form of slow flight/stall warning?
First things first, the Cirrus does have an electronic aural stall warning system but with noise reduction headsets, it's hard to hear it - at least that is my experience when flying a stall practice manoeuvre or even at landing as regardless of how far I'm pulling back, I do not hear it on landing; by manually applying suction to the opening with power on, I can hear the beep but it's significantly quieter than the noises of a P28A or a C172 stall warning system.

Having said that, a stall in a Cirrus - straight and level - is an event you cannot normally miss because the wing is designed to stall at the inner edge first and the buffeting is extremely pronounced. I've only once - with a CSIP on board - put the Cirrus into a stall whilst simulating a base to final type turn (whilst at an altitude of more than 3000 feet) and it is an eye opener just how fast the plane will attempt to spin - the CSIP knew what was going to happen so he kicked in the rudder to stop the yaw - but the buffeting from slow flight was still there....
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 07:38
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Originally Posted by Cazalet33
What's the parachute for in those things?

Or is that only for the use of competent pilots?
It needs a certain altitude to be deployed at - when I take off, I have a mantra of 'CAPS, maps, Flaps' when I exceed 500 feet AGL - means retract the flaps, switch the MFD to map page and touch the CAPS handle to remind myself I can now consider CAPS as an option. With less than 500 feet altitude, CAPS isn't realistically an option and, in this instance, by the time the pilot had understood what was happening, it was already too late.

What you should also be aware is that quite a few pilots forget that they have the option of pulling the chute - they have an issue, are so busy trying to comprehend / correct the issue, they forget they have this get out of jail free card. A case in point was the crash of an SR 22 in Parish NY which got into a spin at 5000 feet above ground but they didn't pull the chute..... Others have described having an engine issue and nurse the plane back to an airstrip, hoping and praying they arrive safely, only after the event to remember that they had another course of action open to them - in an emergency, they simply forgot about the red lever....
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Old 17th Jun 2016, 21:33
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In the June NTSB reports there's another Cirrus fatal - a pilot with an instructor, PFL from 3000' to airfield. One survived the crash.
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