Saturday, January 14, 2006

Craziest Pirep Ever

MGM UUA /OV SCD 270004/TM 2200/FL090/TP SR22/IC SVR ICG 077-0900/RM ACFT WAS DESCENDING BY PARACHUTE DUE TO SEVRE ICG BUILDUP CORRECTION

For the uninitiated, the above means: Urgent Pilot Report at 2200 Zulu, a Cirrus SR22 encountered severe icing between 7700' and 9000'. In the remarks: the aircraft was descending by parachute due to severe ice buildup. That's one you don't see every day.

The FAA defines severe icing as
"an atmospheric condition in which the rate of ice accumulation is such that de-icing or anti-icing equipment cannot reduce or control the hazard." Therefore, a pilot's concept of severe icing will vary pretty widely according to equipment flown and the effectiveness of its anti-icing/de-icing equipment. Pulling the 'chute to save the plane, though - I think that fits within anybody's idea of severe icing.

According to early reports, this airplane lacked the optional TKS anti-ice system, much less an FAA approved system, and was therefore not legal to take into known icing. The fact that this pilot did so, and continued to the point that he lost control of the airplane, is an issue that I suspect the FAA will be chatting with him about. Chalk another save up to Cirrus and BRS - saving pilots from their foibles one 'chute deployment at a time.

4 comments:

Aviatrix said...

Apparently after the introduction of seatbelts in cars, the injury rate in accidents went way down -- then started to climb again as people's sense of safety in the vehicle increased, and so did their speed and recklessness.

I hope this psychology isn't at work on Cirrus owners.

John said...

A very unique PIREP. The only way to recover an SR22 from a spin (which could have resulted if a tailplane stall occurred due to ice build up) is to deploy the chute.

I'm not sure whether to chalk this up to Cirrus for a "save" or to another brazen Cirrus pilot who assumed (consciously or unconsciously) that 310 hp and a glass panel made him/her invincible.

Anonymous said...

That would be interesting descending with a parachute.

a little off topic but a link to more news about Menzies
http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=5769

hopefully it works.

Sam said...

I dunno, some perfectly safe airplanes, like the C-177, had a poor accident rate when first introduced. In that case, it was a matter of people flying it like a C172. I think the Cirrus accidents are the opposite problem: people flying it like it has the capabilities of a King Air. It really needs to be treated like a (faster & nicer!) C172.