Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cirrus aircraft crashes off Virginia in Atlantic Ocean

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of a Cirrus SR22 into the Atlantic Ocean about 50 miles from Wallops Island, Va., on Saturday.

The plane is a single-engine Cirrus (tail number N930RH) registered to Ronald Hutchinson of Brookfeld, Wis., according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

The popular flight tracking website Flightaware shows the aircraft departing Waukesha, Wis., headed for Manassas, Va. The website shows the flight path ends in the Atlantic Ocean.

The U.S. Coast Guard 5th District in Portsmouth received notification at approximately 2:40 p.m. that a single-engine aircraft with only the pilot aboard failed to land at Manassas Regional Airport as scheduled. Instead the plane remained at an altitude of approximately 13,000 feet and continued into restricted air space in the vicinity of Washington, D.C.

Two F-16 aircraft came alongside the Cirrus to investigate and observed the pilot to be unconscious in the cockpit.

The F-16 airmen escorted the plane on its course over the Eastern Shore of Virginia until it eventually ran out of fuel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina and the crew of Cutter Beluga, homeported in Virignia Beach, to respond.

7 comments:

Michel Bossu said...

would that be a good idea that the parachute deployment cane be remotely ordered by radio on a dedicated frequency ? so the rescue could be able to save both crew and machine ?

Anonymous said...

It might save a life or two over the next ten years or so, but would the added cost and weight (and the inherent hazard of accidental deployment) justify it? These types of mishaps are rare, although we just had a similar accident this morning in Jamaica. As for the airframe, a friend of mine who owns an S22 tells me in no uncertain terms that once you deploy the BRS on a Cirrus, the airframe will be a total write-off. I don't know if any recoverable parts and systems would mitigate the loss of the airframe. Certainly major components such as powerplant, landing gear, etc. would be highly suspect for reuse. Perhaps some of the avionics could be reused, but again, is it worth it?

Leighton Elliott said...

Crashing would also be an airframe write off. wouldn't it? At least their would be a chance of saving a life.

Anonymous said...

The Cirrus parachute has a max deployment speed of 140 KIAS. To remotely deploy by radio is not enough -- you would need to remotely close the throttle to reduce airspeed and then deploy. If the aircraft has already run out of fuel and entered a high speed dive, also too late. While your suggestion is good in concept, it's a little more complicated that just firing a parachute.

Anonymous said...

My original statement about chute deployment being an airframe write-off was in response to his question "...save both crew and machine?" Sorry you chose to take exception. As to your stand that "At least there would be a chance of saving a life...", well, I guess I could agree once I see every general aviation pilot and passenger donning a parachute before every flight. That would certainly save more lives than remotely fired BRS's would.

Anonymous said...

Most likely these pilots and passengers were already deceased WAY before they ran out of fuel.

As sad as this is, it didn't happen on the freeway and no one on the surface was involved.

Jake Sweetman said...

I heard A Leakage Occurred of something then the pilot got carbon monoxide and became unconsius