Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cirrus SR22, N256CD: Accident occurred February 23, 2016 near Palatka Municipal Airport (28J), Putnam County, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA110 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 23, 2016 in Palatka, FL
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N256CD
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 23, 2016, at 1115 eastern standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, N256CD, was substantially damaged during impact with terrain, after deployment of the Cirrus Airplane Parachute System, following a partial loss of engine power near the Palatka Municipal Airport (28J), Palatka, Florida. The private pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed from the Sanford-Lee County Airport (TTA), Sanford, North Carolina, about 0820. The flight was destined for the Leesburg International Airport (LEE), Leesburg, Florida. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated that while in cruise flight, at an altitude of 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl), he began a descent to a lower altitude in preparation for arrival at the destination airport. Just after the descent began, he retarded the throttle "slightly" and the "power dropped dramatically, perhaps to idle." The propeller continued to rotate but he was unsure of the exact engine rpm as he did not look at the tachometer. He requested and received vectors from air traffic control to the nearest airport and turned toward 28J. He then switched fuel tanks, adjusted the mixture, switched magnetos, and moved the throttle to full and back to idle again, all with no effect. When he determined that the airplane would not be able to reach the airport, he deployed the airframe parachute system about 1,000 feet msl.

Examination of the airplane at the accident scene by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the it came to rest in a residential area, 2.8 nautical miles southeast of 28J, between a backyard shed and a recreational vehicle trailer. The parachute was entangled in power lines. The propeller and the nosewheel sustained damage, and the left aileron had separated from the wing.

Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. With the engine still installed in the airframe, an engine test-run was performed. The engine started after two revolutions and ran continuously. After a brief warmup, the throttle was advanced to 1,700 rpm and a magneto check was performed, during which the rpm drop was about 100 rpm for each magneto. The throttle was advanced to full power momentarily, and the engine reached 2,500 rpm. The throttle was then retarded to idle and the engine speed dropped to about 800 rpm. The mixture control was then pulled to the idle/cut position and the engine ceased running.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15

A North Carolina pilot headed home from Palatka on Wednesday, a day after his small plane made a hard landing in a Putnam County backyard.

David Thomas, 64, survived with minor injuries.

The Cirrus SR22 force landed just after 11 a.m. Tuesday on Dogwood Lane in Palatka.

Neighbors said the pilot was heading from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Longwood, Florida, to pick up his mother and take her back north. He drove home to North Carolina on Wednesday.

Homeowner Richard Jackson, who helped pull Thomas from the plane after it landed in his backyard, visited the pilot in the hospital Tuesday night.

“'Thank you,' that's all he could say,” Jackson said. “His mama broke down and cried and gave me a big hug.”

The plane has been removed from Jackson's backyard, but the damage it left behind could still be seen Wednesday.

A recovery crew spent hours taking the plane apart, using a crane to finally get it out of the yard and onto the wrecker.

“They say it could possibly be repaired,” said Blake Powers with Florida Air Recovery and Storage. “I think after further inspection, that may not happen. There has been a lot of damage.”

The Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and FHP continue to investigate to find out what caused the crash landing.

Powers said the airplane is heading back to Jacksonville for storage and will be inspected by investigators there. Powers said his company might do an engine run and will store the plane until the insurance company and NTSB release it.

The plane is a 2002 model that Thomas bought in 2010. Experts said it was likely around $800,000 new, but several other pilots owned the plane before Thomas. The current value of the plane, which was insured, was $150,000-$200,000 before the crash. 

There were no records of any previous problems with the plane. 

Aviation experts said this is the fourth time this model of plane has crashed in Florida in the past six years. 

Original article can be found here:

PALATKA, Fla. — A small plane force landed behind a Palatka home Tuesday after it lost power.

The pilot, identified by the Florida Highway Patrol as 62-year-old David Thomas.

Thomas was taken to Putnam Medical Center with minor injuries. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

The plane was a Cirrus SR22. 

Thomas was flying from North Carolina to Leesburg International Airport, "when he had engine failure," according to FHP.

The FAA released a statement:

 "A Cirrus SR22, aircraft crashed in a residential area in Palatka, FL at about 11:30 am. Local authorities will release the name and condition of the pilot, who was the only person on board. The FAA will release the aircraft registration after that. The flight departed from Raleigh Executive Airport in North Carolina and was headed to Leesburg, FL when the accident occurred. The FAA is investigating."

Neighbors came running out of their homes to see the crash.

"I saw him fly over the house and I heard something pretty loud and then he was low," said Jessica Crouch.

"She says 'y'all call 911, the plane's going to crash and at that time, it said 'boom,'" said Wendy Murrey.

Richard Jackson said he was in his garage when he heard an explosion and ran into his backyard to help the pilot.

"I watched it come down and thought, 'that's my yard," Jackson said. "He kept telling me, 'get back, fire,' and I said 'no, you get out.'"

Action News Jax looked to see if the plane had any previous issues. According to, in 2009, the plane had issues with its alternator, but a new one was installed.

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