Cirrus down near Aspen

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by murphey, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    "Steindler further noted that the mountains in the area of the crash, which was roughly five miles from the Aspen airport near Lenado, top out at about 10,000 feet — which is likely close to the elevation where the plane was flying. He said the pilot had filed flight plans to fly from Aspen to Eagle...

    .... However, the pair, a married couple, was not equipped to spend the night in the cold temperatures that dropped to single digits by early Tuesday morning."


    Took off from Aspen in January, for a flight in the mountains. And didn't have clothes warm enough if something went wrong.

    LOL. Doesn't that just fit the stereotypical Cirrus owners we like to imagine around here. :fingerwag:
     
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  3. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    They’re from Wisconsin. Flatland.
     
  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    It gets cold in the winter in Wisconsin too.
     
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  5. Rein Hart

    Rein Hart Pre-Flight

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    Another great ballistic parachute save. Since the plane is still intact hopefully they investigate and publish what instrument problems occurred.
     
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  6. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Line Up and Wait

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    Glad they're OK.
     
  7. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Best quote in the story "Steindler said that the plane’s occupants became upset when the rescue team insisted that they leave their luggage behind."

    THAT is the typical impression of Cirrus owners.
     
  8. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    If they’re from WI, they wear shorts & tees until it gets to about 10-20 deg F...
     
  9. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    So they weren't equipped for the cold, but they didn't want to leave their luggage behind? Was the luggage full of lingerie and sex toys?
     
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  10. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Or drugs and cash.
     
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  11. Wade

    Wade Pre-takeoff checklist

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    They lost the attitude indicator and pulled the chute is the story I read.
     
  12. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Meh, if I put a plane down off airport and I'm alive and uninjured afterward, I would probably want to take at least some of my luggage with me as well. Shrug.
     
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  13. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    is the AI necessary for the autopilot in the Cirrus? -Skip
     
  14. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Literally, the first reply in this thread.

    The anti-Cirrus crap gets so old and tiresome. Holy hell. Give it a freaking rest

    Also, would most people here honestly have no desire to take their luggage out of a perfectly good airplane too before you leave it? Do people who manage successful dead stick landings in non-Cirri leave their belongings behind?

    Ugh.
     
  15. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude

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    I think that is the important point and is a more common error than one might think. Not just Cirrus pilots do that.
     
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  16. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I think there are a bunch of alternatives when loosing the AI to pulling the chute. I think that would be a last resort instead of a first one. Heck, I can get a workable AI out of my iPad.
     
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  17. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Take a look at the sectional between KASE and KEGE. Even making the NW detour, it's still mountainous geography. Personally, even in a Cirrus, I wouldn't have made the direct flight but headed NW up the valley then NE to Vail (actually, Eagle, as Bill will remind us). That kind of geography, there's really no "out" and for someone not familiar with the area, not really the best time to consider options.

    As far as the published remarks about the luggage....we already know about the level of accuracy in the media when talking about general aviation. The luggage definitely contained clothes - which they need and will now have to buy; possibly medications, cell phones, tablets, etc. The opinion is that there won't be any recovery of the aircraft or contents for weeks if not months due to the geography and the snow. I'm not sure I'd want to leave all my stuff either.
     
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  18. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    In the book of Steingar, flying around rocks IFR is rank foolishness. You make a navigation error in Flatistan you get lost. You make one around rocks you get dead. Just how I see it. I've never been in that big a rush to chance rocks in weather. But then again, I'm just a mere mortal, and not an important Cirrus person.
     
  19. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If I was walking and physically able to carry my luggage and wanted to take it with me, I would have. The rescue team will just have to live with it.
     
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  20. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    The article says a 2017 SR-22T, which would have a GFC 700 series autopilot and 2 AHRS. I believe it was the ASI they lost. Still reading through the COPA posts on this. Regardless, they were in the mountains, felt CAPS was the best solution for them, pulled and lived.
     
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  21. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    This guy made the right choice.. when you start to doubt your instruments, and you're near terrain, in IMC.. then that's exactly when you should use the chute and not start troubleshooting, getting disoriented, and potentially having a CFIT or losing control. Kudos to the training working, and this guy surviving!

    You don't have to be an important Cirrus person. Just a competent pilot who can navigate proficiently. His plane can easily climb well above those peaks in short order and following published DPs and IFR procedures will keep you flying. Having an IR ticket but not using it doesn't make a lot of sense.. and if you can't navigate in flatistan you not only get lost, but you become a risk to other people flying in the system, who are able to competently navigate, especially if you get near busier airspace (Chicago, Dallas, etc.)

    I'm sure there are plenty of TBM, Bonanza, Cessna twins, and other planes flying in and out of Aspen, and other rocky areas in IFR conditions, it's not behavior unique to important Cirrus people, to use their abilities to the fullest capabilities

    Reviewing the Aspen DPs they're not that complex.. program it into the Garmin, review the plate itself (if it's not an RNAV dial it into the VOR, etc.) .. and after about 5-7 minutes, or once you're above 14K, there are no more mountains to hit. If you do happen to get lost for some reason, despite state of the art tech, situational awareness, EFB, etc., then above 14K you're lost just like you would be anywhere else
     
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  22. Luigi

    Luigi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    He lost the ASI?? Did he turn on the pitot static heat? Didn't he look at the GS readout on his GPS?
    I have lost my ASI in IMC conditions, pitot heat failed over the very same mountains.

    Not being excessively critical, but wondering.
     
  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I can understand how the loss of something simple like an airspeed indicator would create some trickle down issues for this pilot

    A-
    How do you know it's because of a frozen pitot? you may have noticed an issue with his airspeed indicator but depending on what the actual issue was, like perhaps a blocked static Port then there could be other issues with other instruments as well.. making you doubt the gauges

    B-
    I was trained to use IAS mode when climbing on autopilot.. losing the airspeed indicator would either cause erratic behavior of the autopilot, depending on the failure, or to revert the plane to roll pitch mode.. so now he's basically either hand flying, or using the LVL button and flying potentially for the mountain

    obviously an instrument failure is something we all trained for during IFR training and is not a death sentence, but given the circumstances pulling the chute was prudent

    Also, let's say he can fly partial panel.. what now? press on with your route and hope the blockage clears up when you're on top, or, try and shoot an approach with a partial panel back to Aspen... =\
     
  24. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pattern Altitude

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  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    If pitot heat was not on the CAS yells at you under 5*C
     
  26. G-Man

    G-Man Line Up and Wait

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    In Aspen, in winter... I don't think you _can_ have appropriate clothing for extended and/or overnight exposure. At the least, it'd be a survival suit, and you probably couldn't fly in that getup.
    And, yeah, I'd be ****ed about my luggage, too. "Yes, I'm glad we're alive, and I'd like to take with me the things I need for survival."
     
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  27. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    This, there is a master warning to turn on the pitot heat under 5C. You get a ding, then a yellow cas message that is incessant. There is also a warning if the pitot heat malfunctions. The pitot heat heats the pitot mast, obviously, and also heats the stall warning vane. You get several chances to confirm it's working in pre flight, I turn it on before engine start, look for the amperage draw to increase, I let it heat for about 45 seconds, turn it off and get out and check that things are warm while checking lights. You also get to see the amperage draw during the alternator(s) check during run up. From the live atc, it sounds like he took off, discovered the problem and asked to come back. He was VMC until he turned back, then ended up in the clouds. It's going to be interesting to find out what happened in this case. But regardless, they survived.
     
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  28. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’m astonished at people who file IFR but apparently do not look at the VFR sectional to see where they will be flying. Just because you file 15K and the airplane can easily fly 15 K does not mean it’s the best choice. The route on flightAware shows he took off, headed ENE, right into a ridge (where he pulled the handle) but continuing the planned route, over the worst terrain heading north. The route NW to LINDZ then to KEGE is only an extra 10 min, at most, and is flatter. Of course the geography south is much worse.

    Flatlanders. Meh.
     
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  29. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I would ask about luggage too. It sounds like these two stayed in the airplane until help arrived, so they probably had no idea about what it took to get to them. One account I read said 2 to 3 hours to get to them, basically on a steep mountainside in waist deep snow. Getting them out took 9 hours, I'm sure it was readily apparent quickly that not carrying bags out was the correct call.
     
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  30. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Correction...
    “I’d like to take with me the things I need for dinner at the Little Nell tonight”
     
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  31. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I'm surprised they wouldn't have any winter clothes in their luggage at all

    granted when I last flew to the rockies, Telluride, I was going for skiing so I had plenty of clothes with me.. but I would assume if you're going anywhere in the winter with snow you bring warm stuff
     
  32. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Rule of thumb we teach in the various mountain flying courses....dress as if you need to walk home. Even in the summer my emergency bag has gloves, hat and a surplus USAF parka. But then I don’t fly into Vail or Aspen...
     
  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Over 30 Mountain Rescue Assn volunteers on snowmobiles and horseback at well past midnight on a dark night and frigid temps and deep snow. That’s a rescue you don’t even start for fear of hurting rescue personnel unless you KNOW there’s survivors. They did, so they went.

    This reads to me so far, like our typical flatlander accident. No mountain training. No idea where his “out” was at ALL times. Fancy airplane, which will take care of everything for the pilot. Etc.

    The chute saved their asses but the flight was doomed before it departed.

    I’ve read elsewhere that this was VMC on an IFR flight plan. That may be the one thing he got right. Why an ASI failure would be a problem VMC, I can’t fathom.
     
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  34. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Maybe I’m stupid, but I would not want to pull the chute over the Rockies.
     
  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Seen the photos? If the chute hadn’t snagged on the trees they were in for a very long fall down a very steep slope...
     
  36. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pattern Altitude

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    I suspect if the parachute had not been used, we would be speculating why this pilot flew into the side of a mountain instead.
     
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  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    For those of us who live here, it wouldn’t be so much speculation as knowing someone once again didn’t get the message that navigational orientation is TOP priority in terrain that can outclimb the abilities of the aircraft in seconds.

    But we can’t teach that to people who come here and think they’ve got it all handled ... but don’t.

    Scraping a young family off a mountain is pretty much an annual occurrence here, but it’ll never happen to them...

    You absolutely MUST know at all times where you are or execute your KNOWN escape route immediately. We try to beat this into the heads of the people who take the time to do Mountain training, but lots don’t bother.

    I’m just glad I’m not an MRA member who volunteers to pack the body parts out on horseback, so family has something not resembling a human, to bury.

    One of the best mountain flying books ever written is by a guy who crashed not once, but twice, in the same valley, and the second crash killed him. I have two signed copies. He KNEW how to do it.

    KASE in winter is not to be trifled with. It CAN be done safely. But you have to prep differently than a typical flight. It’s just the nature of terrain that high that rises that quickly.
     
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  38. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude

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    I had something similar happen over the flatlands of eastern S. Dakota. Vacuum pump failure and when I look to the AI something is very seriously wrong. It is a bit distracting and I had to focus hard on not looking at it for the first few minutes. A cover would help (now carry some post-it notes for this purpose)

    Then was able to fly it back in VMC and get the pump replaced. Agreed - doesn’t seem like a reason to pull the chute, especially over hazardous terrain.
     
  39. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    Was the the dude that crashed near Helena, MT about 8 or so years ago?
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I get it if he knew he was “lost” in that terrain. Like someone else said, he was 30 seconds from impact. If he let the system failure take his priority over navigation up there, he’s at most two minutes from hitting something in most valleys up there at Cirrus speeds.

    Thing is, if he could see the terrain he could turn downhill. So I have a sneaky suspicion he couldn’t see.

    I keep hearing VMC conditions but small clouds around valleys are common. Maybe a little too much “Oh I’ll just let the autopilot fly me through the little cloud” built by years in the Midwest summer scud? Even instrument rated, that’s not a good idea up there unless you’re on and know for sure you’re on a published approach or departure segment. Even pro crews scare themselves fairly regularly up there.

    There’s seriously no wiggle room on flying exactly what’s on the chart, IFR. Those approaches are wedged into the terrain tight at all but the wide valley airports. Eagle and Kremmling are a lot more forgiving than Aspen once you get into their valleys.