Photo: Jason Rearick
A Cirrus SR20 crashed approximately two miles from Danbury Airport in Central Connecticut last night, and all three occupants walked away, though their airplane was held up for a while. (Initial reports had reported that it was an SR22, but those reports turned out to be inaccurate.)
According to reports in the local papers, the CFI flying the airplane with two passengers reported “an unspecified” mechanical problem and deployed the Cirrus’ whole airplane recovery parachute, which did its job, lowering the airframe at a survivable rate of descent. The accident took place early at night, but it was a very dark night, and the terrain surrounding Danbury is hilly and wooded, an inhospitable place for a forced landing even during the daytime.
The cause of the delay in retrieving the airplane was that the parachute got hung up in tree limbs as it descended, but it was low enough to the ground that the occupants were able to exit the airplane unaided. Photographs of the crash site show the Cirrus in a nose-low position with the nose crushed but the remainder of the airframe looking largely intact, except for the tail missing post recovery. Emergency responders later cut power to nearby electrical lines and freed the airplane. No one on the ground was hurt. The three occupants were treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries.
The NTSB is investigating the accident.
Correction: A previous version of this story identified the airplane as a Cirrus SR22. It was in fact a Cirrus SR20, a variant of the same type.
(Thanks for Flying reader Bob Gardner for the timely tip.)