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Thread: Sadly, Cirrus Accident Friday

  1. #1

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    Sadly, Cirrus Accident Friday

    Friday evening a Cirrus was lost 15 miles north of Glenwood Springs which is 42 miles north of Aspen. It was fatal for 2 adults and 2 children. They left Loveland, Ft. Collins going to Moab,Utah and were perhaps halfway. I have been a pilot here for 36 years, and Ive done Mt Flying forums at Oshkosh, Sun N Fun, etc. My 3 main points are1 Have enough airplane, thus is service ceiling high enough, 2 Fly in good weather, 3. Fly safer routes not necessarily direct over highest terrain.
    Their SR22TC was certainly enough plane, and they were on the route I would go, the had passed Eagle airport, 30 miles back, had Rifle 30 miles ahead and Glenwood just to their south. So that leaves weather. I dont know about it yet, I do know that it was raining with low clouds Sat morning. I had flown the first part of the route , Boulder to Eagle and on to Aspen Fri afternoon, clouds were no problem there was some turbulence, continuous light not really moderate.
    Sure hate to see this and especially with a family and kids, No info as to why they didnt use parachute or if it was attempted. Report says ATC lost contact with them so my guess is they may have been on an ifr fight plan. If so the MEA there is 16,000. Highest terrain is likely about 13,000.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-17-2017 at 09:58 AM.

  2. #2

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    It seems like there were thunderstorms at some places in the genearal area then, but we dont know the time of the accident.

  3. #3
    Scooper's Avatar
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    More details on Kathryn's Report:

    http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2017/0...tember-16.html
    - Stan
    Zenith CH601XLi-B, N601KE, KOAK



  4. #4

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    Very sad, and condolences to the family.

    Low clouds after the wreck made recovery initially impossible, so the ugly possibility of CFIT is on the table.

    It's too early to know what happened. Since he was talking to ATC, he might have been flying IFR to start with; it's not mentioned either way (not that we can expect a news reporter to know what either VFR or IFR flight is, let alone the difference).
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #5

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    Frank, the low clouds were the next morning, I havent been able to find out what time contact was lost Fri night, so probable time of accident. I have called the sheriff's dept , no one seems to know, and Ive left my number. When I flew by there, 30 miles east of there over Eagle on the way home about 3pm that afternoon the weather was good vfr, kind of windy but not dangerous. It was vmc at bedtime that night and raining and overcast at daybreak Sat morning.
    There can be no situation that hurts more deeply than loss of precious children. We flew all over the country with our two boys, including Oshkosh etc, that liitlte boy could be my Son. We were very careful of weather, never really had any emergency, once had to land due to smoke of a fire. I would probably have made the trip these folks were trying to make given the weather I saw.
    Love your kids, never spank or hit one, try to never raise your voice, and thank God every minute that you get to spend with them. The great thing about kids is they have love in them, they havent yet learned hatred and evil from adults.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-18-2017 at 10:24 AM.

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    Sincere condolences to the Makepeace family and friends.

  7. #7

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    I got a call back from the sherriff dept and the time of ATC loss of comunticaton with the plane was 10:07 pm. I dont know if they were on an ifr flght plan or just flight following of whatever, but the info I got from one source was that the last radar report showed the plane descending 800 fpm. I cant think of any normal reason for that and there was not any call from the pilot re a problem. There were some Tstorms in the area within the previous hour, a Glenwood High School football game was stopped due to lighting. No info about the parachute, whether it was used or attempted to be used. Perhaps whatever the problem was it happened too quickly to use it.
    Takeoff at FNL would have been about 9:15 and very dark by then , hard to see any clouds with little moonlight.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-27-2017 at 12:51 PM.

  8. #8

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    The ground elevation just east of the accident site is max of 12,200 and if they cleared that, about 5 miles more the max elevation the rest of the way to Moab was more like 10,000,and they would have an 4 lane freeway underneath them, and 2 vors coming up. They were past any more 14,000 peaks. Such a sad thing for good folks.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-18-2017 at 06:33 PM.

  9. #9
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    Some more details: the pilot received his private certificate 6 months ago, so he was very inexperienced. He was working on his IR but didn't have it yet. He took the Colorado Pilots Mountain Flying course, in which it's emphasized not to fly at night through the mountains. He was also a member of COPA (Cirrus Owners & Pilots), and had reportedly taken some additional training through them.

    None of that explains doing what he did. I have 2 theories:

    • That he lost control in IMC--and at night, that's really easy to do. A little turbulence might shut off the autopilot, and then he'd be unable to control it.
    • That he developed hypoxia, not being on oxygen when he flew high enough to clear the rocks, and then lost control.


    Here's the sad part: if I was going to Moab in the dark, I'd have flown northwest to Laramie, then Medicine Bow, then Cherokee, then direct Moab. At Cirrus speeds, depending on the wind, that would have added between 40 and 50 minutes to any direct Fort Collins/Loveland to Moab flight. 40 or 50 minutes is nothing, compared to the risk.

    Cary
    "I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...,
    put out my hand and touched the face of God." J.G. Magee

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    Some more details: the pilot received his private certificate 6 months ago, so he was very inexperienced. He was working on his IR but didn't have it yet. He took the Colorado Pilots Mountain Flying course, in which it's emphasized not to fly at night through the mountains. He was also a member of COPA (Cirrus Owners & Pilots), and had reportedly taken some additional training through them.

    None of that explains doing what he did. I have 2 theories:

    • That he lost control in IMC--and at night, that's really easy to do. A little turbulence might shut off the autopilot, and then he'd be unable to control it.
    • That he developed hypoxia, not being on oxygen when he flew high enough to clear the rocks, and then lost control.


    Here's the sad part: if I was going to Moab in the dark, I'd have flown northwest to Laramie, then Medicine Bow, then Cherokee, then direct Moab. At Cirrus speeds, depending on the wind, that would have added between 40 and 50 minutes to any direct Fort Collins/Loveland to Moab flight. 40 or 50 minutes is nothing, compared to the risk.

    Cary
    Yes but you speak from an experienced pilots point of view. Being more experienced you have better decision making skills. He made some very bad decisions. I wonder if talking to him he displayed this lack of decision making. Why I ask a lot of questions to any pilot I am flying with in a small airplane. If I don't like one answer I stay on the ground. Some are very arrogant and this comes out when you speak to them. I try to avoid this type. They are trouble.
    Tony

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